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NJ Spotlight Daily News

April 21, 2015

Despite Some Successes, Christie Still Struggles to Stabilize NJ’s Economy
John Reitmeyer | Politics
A stubborn unemployment rate and frustratingly slow recovery of jobs lost during recession mar New Jersey’s attempt at economic turnaround
State Teachers Union Challenges Legality of Camden Charter Takeover
John Mooney | Education
Complaint alleges plans to convert five schools are attempt to circumvent state’s Urban Hope Act
Explainer: Navigating the Complex Web of Federal, State Disclosure Laws
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer
Understanding the charges against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez means understanding the finer points of the laws he allegedly broke
Just 16 School Districts Hold Budget Votes Today Around New Jersey
John Mooney | Education
Law enacted three years ago allowed switch to November – and no vote at all with 2 percent tax cap

April 20, 2015

Moving Cargo at NJ Ports Will Take Much More Than Container Ships
Meir Rinde | Transportation
Creating jobs at Port Elizabeth/Port Newark is partly a matter of streamlined hiring processes -- and very much a matter of infrastructure
JCP&L May Be On Collision Course with State Regulators Again
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
BPU staff tasked with examining utility’s operations, finances, customer service -- and possibly the books
Dems Blame Christie’s Broken Pension Promises for Latest Moody’s Downgrade
John Reitmeyer | Budget
GOP counters that credit-rating slide is due to Legislature’s refusal to act on governor’s current budget proposal
Army Corps Starts Work on Two Major Beach-Protection Projects at Shore
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Projects intended to make coastline less vulnerable to storms, but critics raise variety of concerns
‘Medical Home’ Approach Coordinates Services, Care for Autistic Kids
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Behavioral and other medical specialists encouraged to work closely with each other and with children’s pediatricians
The List: On the Move -- New Jersey’s 10 Fastest-Growing Counties
Colleen O'Dea | The List
The Garden State isn’t seeing double-digit growth, but the numbers are climbing -- if you know where to look
Fine Print: State Arbitrator Slams Newark – and State – Over Teacher Evaluations
John Mooney | Education
Latest ruling again rejects school district’s ‘arbitrary and capricious’ criteria for denying tenure

April 17, 2015

Op-Ed: State Budget's Being Balanced on the Backs of Working Families
Deborah Cornavaca | Opinion
Let’s be honest, the rich in New Jersey are getting richer and everyone else is struggling more and more just to get by
NJ's 'Stable' Source of Open-Space Funding: Let the Diversions Begin
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
DEP defends administration’s plan to redirect $20 million from new program to pay salaries for park workers, routine maintenance
Christie Earns Criticism, Kudos for His Higher-Education Policies in NJ
Tara Nurin | Education
The governor’s critics cite his sizable funding cuts, but Christie has presided over a massive remaking of higher education in the state
Judge Upholds Municipal Sick-Leave Laws, Clears Way for Proliferation
Meir Rinde | Healthcare, Politics, Social
Business associations argue that letting towns make own laws would create statewide patchwork of rules and regulations
State’s Labor Chief Suggests Employment Picture Looks Brighter in Perspective
John Reitmeyer | Budget
While jobless rate rises again, he tells Senate panel that longer-term numbers are more encouraging than monthly snapshots
Technology Earns High Marks in Opening Round of Online Testing
John Mooney | Education
While PARCC itself remains controversial, state officials report new computer platforms had high rate of success
Interactive Map: Income Taxes Expected to Add $13B to State Coffers
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
NJ tax filers include more than 53,000 residents – including the Christies – with incomes over $500,000

April 16, 2015

15 Percent of 11th-Graders Refused to Take First Round of PARCC Tests in March
John Mooney | Education
Opt-out rate was as low as 3 percent statewide in state’s elementary schools
Christie Heads North, Begins His Town Hall Presidential Redemption Tour
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The governor claims to "tell it like it is" at his first town hall meeting outside of New Jersey
In New Brunswick, Sweeney Sees Seeds of a Solution to Atlantic City’s Problems
John Reitmeyer | Planning
Senate president celebrates New Brunswick’s building boom, sees redevelopment corporation and public-private initiatives as essential to success
Administration Filed Just One Natural-Resources Damage Claim Before Exxon
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Acting attorney general defends proposed settlement, which has generated a whirlwind of controversy
Smaller Hospital States Case for Survival as Full-Service Facility
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
St. Michael’s Medical Center of Newark slams ‘anti-competition’ consultant report that calls for consolidation and restructuring
State BPU Gives the Nod to PSE&G’s $95 Million Energy-Efficiency Initiative
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
NJ’s largest utility to concentrate efforts on hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, and small businesses
Opinion: Chris Christie Keeps the Press Exactly Where He Wants It -- In the Dark
Carl Golden | Opinion
The governor’s carefully staged ‘town halls’ and radio shows foster the illusion that he is accessible to just plain folks
Poll: What’s the Best Course of Action When It Come to the COAH Cash?
Should the governor be allowed to use affordable-housing funds to plug a hole in the budget?

April 15, 2015

Chris Christie Went To New Hampshire and Talked About Everything
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The governor doesn't sound like a man who's gearing up for the political fight of his life -- or does he?
Five Years After Christie's Family-Planning Funding Cuts, Debate Continues
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Onset of Affordable Care Act makes it even more complicated to assess impact on low-income women
Federal Agency's Forecast Says U.S. Could Be Free of Energy Imports by 2020-2030
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
U.S. Energy Information Administration see rise in natural gas, renewables, mirroring developments in New Jersey
‘One Newark’ Reorganization Kicks Off Second Year, Learning From the First
John Mooney | Education
Three-quarters of families selecting schools for their kids won placement at one of three top choices
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