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NJ Spotlight Daily News

December 2, 2016

BPU Considers Deploying Microgrids to Deliver Local Power Resiliency
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Power outages related to grid failures can affect millions of residents; microgrids can keep critical facilities up and running in towns and communities
State Seeks High-Tech Oversight of $2B Annual Spending on Drug Benefits
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
New Jersey would be first state to use new technology to make real-time decisions about drug purchases, contracts, possibly saving taxpayers $200M a year

December 1, 2016

Troubles with NJ Drinking-Water System: Easy to Spot, Costly to Correct
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The most vexing difficulty with water system may be where to find the money to fix wasteful problems
Bipartisan Group of NJ Lawmakers Blasts NY Pols Over Bus Terminal
Joe Tyrrell | Transportation
Democrats and Republicans present united front, insisting that a replacement for the current “Third-World” terminal will be built as planned
Pension Leaders Question if NJ Should Do More to Shore Up System
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Amid efforts by lawmakers to improve the funding of the public-employee pension system, there are calls for more aggressive action
New Jersey Expands Welfare Benefits for Former Drug Offenders
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
But they must be participating in a treatment program, and no one convicted of distributing drugs is eligible
PSE&G Gets Go-Ahead on Smaller Solar Plan, But Splits Vote at BPU
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Some critics of settlement raise concerns that utility has unregulated affiliate building solar farms without ratepayer assistance
Will NJ’s Top Court Boost Affordable-Housing Requirements?
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
In arguments before state Supreme Court, justices seem to favor idea that cities and towns are responsible for 16 years no affordable-housing rules were in effect

November 30, 2016

Is Criminal Justice in NJ About to Become an Unfunded Mandate?
Caren Chesler | Social
The state’s massive overhaul of the criminal justice system calls for new technologies and more personnel. The counties want to know where the money will come from.
Separation Anxiety: How Deportation Divides Immigrant Families
Hank Kalet | Immigration
Unauthorized immigrants live in fear that a husband or wife will be deported and then blocked from legal reentry, even if there are children living in the United States
JCP&L Files with Feds, Seeking to Boost Transmission Rates
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State agencies argue increase will put undue pressure on customers trying to meet their monthly bills
Trump’s Pick For Health Wants Big Changes To Medicare, Medicaid
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Millions of NJ residents could be affected if Congressman Tom Price’s plans for those programs and Obamacare become law
Down on the Urban Farm in Newark
Jane Primerano | Social
The Greater Newark Conservancy is showing inner-city kids that playing in the dirt can be very good for them

November 29, 2016

As Drought Worsens, Renewed Calls for Release of Long-Overdue Water Plan
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Water-supply advocates argue that plan — last updated in 1996 — can’t deal with current shortages, possible pollution from sewage treatment plants
Repeal of ACA Could Hurt NJ’s Patients, Health, And Economy
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
If President-elect Trump follows through on his threat to abolish Obamacare, it could blow a $3B hole in the state’s budget, in the first year alone
Fine Print: Getting a Handle on New Jersey’s Tire Dumps
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Despite existing law, tire piles continue to proliferate, potentially damaging the environment and offering a breeding ground to mosquitoes
Explainer: How Electoral College Lets President Win with Minority of Votes
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer, Elections 2016
The system can favor candidates who win a lot of states by small margins while losing big in some large ones
Op-Ed: Preparing for Environmental Changes Ahead
Cindy Ehrenclou | Opinion
With the entire New Jersey Senate and Assembly up for election, we need to choose political leaders for whom the environment is a priority

November 28, 2016

Rutgers’ Stroke Study Shows Younger Adults Face Growing Risk
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Researchers find rate is dropping among New Jerseyans over 55, but indicate potentially alarming news for those 35 to 44
State Hopes to Establish Prices for Natural-Resources Damages
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Standards could help ensure compensation is adequate and fair, prevent funds being raided for use in general budget
In Wake of Recent Police Shootings, Activists Step Up Calls for Accountability
Hank Kalet | Social
Can Legislature take some of the edge off the issue by mandating independent prosecutor to oversee investigations of police-related shootings?
Opinion: Moving on to Trumpcare
Joel Cantor | Opinion
The future of the Affordable Care Act is far from certain, but a great deal is at stake for New Jersey
NJ Spotlight Launches New Paid Membership Program
NJ Spotlight Staff | More Issues
Site remains free to all, but members will qualify for benefits ranging from meetings with newsmakers and staff to targeted newsletter

November 23, 2016

Christie Reverses Course, Keeps Reciprocal Income-Tax Agreement with Pennsylvania
John Reitmeyer | Budget
No new taxes! South Jersey residents and businesses get a reprieve from governor who changed his mind about ending income-tax accord with Pennsylvania
The Best Time to Consider Hospice Care: Before It’s Needed
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
NJ residents, like many Americans, want to die at home, but they often fail to plan for this eventuality
Depleted Reservoirs Prompt Official Drought Watch for Delaware River Basin
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
With no end in sight to extended dry spell, regulators take action to compel conservation and to try to keep a ‘salt front’ from threatening drinking water
State Frees Up $67M for Open Space, Recreation Projects
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Money represents first to come from stable source of funding approved by voters in 2014
Opinion: Restoring Public Confidence in Trenton
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff | Opinion
The best way to restore residents’ confidence is for Trenton to demonstrate that it can function effectively and do at least a few of the things that need doing

November 22, 2016

Can Quarterly Payments Help Rescue NJ’s Underfunded Pension System?
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Christie gets bipartisan plan that he calls ‘more fair than the previous proposals,’ but it offers no constitutional guarantee enforcing payments
Horizon to Fund New NJ Healthcare Advocacy Organization
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare, 2013 Summer Reading
State’s largest health insurer is backing a group whose goal is to ‘educate consumers,’ a promise welcomed by some, greeted with a raised eyebrow by others
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