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NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 12, 2015

The List: 10 State Laws Proposed as a Direct Result of Superstorm Sandy
Scott Gurian | The List, Sandy
The devastating storm spawned surge of legislation to address infrastructure vulnerabilities and systemic weaknesses
New Jerseyans Paying More For Less Health Coverage, Report Reveals
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
NJ one of 10 states to see price of premiums skyrocket since enactment of Affordable Care Act

January 9, 2015

School-Choice Opportunities Likely to Shrink Under New, Cash-Strapped State Budget
John Mooney | Education
Expansion of popular program allowing public-school students to switch districts left available funds depleted
More Than 20 Percent of State’s Drinking Water Never Makes It to the Tap
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey’s decrepit water infrastructure responsible for huge waste, higher prices for homes and businesses
Many Unhappy Returns? Tax-Filing Season Looms for Millions in New Jersey
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Good news is that more than 75 percent of Garden State filers will actually get refunds from IRS
New Jersey’s Flu Season Could Still Be Eased With Available Vaccines
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Flu shots not very effective against early strain of virus but could head off problems later in the year
Now It Counts: NJ Releases First Data Linking Test Scores, Teacher Ratings
John Mooney | Education
‘Median Student Growth Percentiles’ based on results of statewide exams will factor into annual evaluations
Energy Supplier Agrees to Compensate Customers for Not Delivering on Price Cuts
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Third-party supplier HIKO Energy agrees to pay $2M to consumers who expected to lower bills but saw huge price spikes instead
Most Emergency Workers at Paulsboro Toxic Leak Didn't Wear Masks, CDC Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Energy & Environment, Healthcare
Federal agency tracks health of first responders, recommends new safety procedures for train derailments
Vineland Urges EPA to Upgrade Cleanup of Toxics Near Superfund Site
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Argument centers on whether remediation should be to 'industrial' or 'residential' standards
When Christie Got Into a Jam: Looking Back at ‘Bridgegate’ One Year Later
WNYC | Politics
Twelve months ago, the public became aware of notorious ‘Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee’ email – and scandal followed
Victory Unlikely, But Two Senators Plan to Try to Override Christie Veto
NJTV | Politics
While Port Authority reforms had bipartisan support, GOP legislators may find it hard to stand up to the boss

January 8, 2015

State Board of Education Members Put to the Test by Anti-Testing Turnout
John Mooney | Education
Foes of switching to controversial PARCC exams enliven normally sedate monthly meeting in Trenton
Case Could Cost Nonprofit NJ Hospitals Millions -- and Their Tax-Exempt Status
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Municipality argues that Morristown Medical Center is actually for-profit facility and should be stripped of property-tax exemption
State DEP Takes Steps to Curb Sewage Runoff Into Surface Water
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Some laud state agency for addressing long-standing problems with century-old infrastructure, other dismiss scheme as too little too late
Paterson Schools Chief Earns Good Grades for State-Controlled District
John Mooney | Education
In marked contrast with Anderson appearance, Evans earns kudos from state Board of Education
Poll: What’s the Most Important Issue Facing New Jersey?
Trenton can’t work miracles, but where should the governor and lawmakers concentrate their efforts?
Forecast: State Aid to Schools Might Increase, But It Won’t Amount to Much
NJTV | Education
NJ Spotlight founding editor talks with NJTV about funding prospects and other statewide education issues

January 7, 2015

Newark Schools Chief Has Less-Than-Friendly Visit with State Lawmakers
John Mooney | Education
Legislators grill Cami Anderson in her first appearance since her appointment three years ago
Council on Affordable Housing Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court
Colleen O'Dea | Housing, Planning
Should COAH go away? If it does, how will New Jersey ensure there will be places for low- and moderate-income residents to live?
More and More, Doctors are Just a Phone Call (or Video Conference) Away
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Increasing number of insurers in NJ now offer 24-7 consultations to handle late-night, weekend illnesses
Fine Print: BPU Allows Test Run of More Aggressive Tree-Trimming Policies
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Pilot program allows utilities to identify ‘high-hazard’ trees that could take out power to a neighborhood if they fell
Profile: State Board of Education President Brings Unique Pedigree to Post
John Mooney | Education, Profiles
Mark Biedron cofounded a progressive private school that’s a far cry from the testing-centric culture of public schools
Op-Ed: Zainee’s Last Christmas Didn’t Have to End in Sadness and Tragedy
Ross Danis | Opinion
Real education stressing values, discipline and hard work can nurture future generations who will build strong families and safe communities

January 6, 2015

Christie Goes To Football Game, Ignites Twitter, Draws Ethics Questions
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Gov. Chris Christie has become the unlikely personal good luck charm of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has fronted thousands of dollars to send the New Jersey governor to games ...
NJ Medical Facilities Penalized for High Number of Hospital-Acquired Infections
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
‘Incentive’ program means 1 percent cut in Medicare payments for more than a third of state’s hospitals
Appellate Court Blocks DEP From Building Road Along Popular Rail Trail
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Some environmentalists contend that court’s stay indicates they have a good chance of winning case against state agency

January 5, 2015

2015: Education in NJ Will See the Consquences of Earlier Policy Decisions
John Mooney | Education
PARCC, school funding, teacher evaluations, takeover districts -- it’s going to be an interesting year for New Jersey public schools
Opinion: There’s No Good Time to Announce Bad News -- Not Even Friday Afternoon
Carl Golden | Opinion
As Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo learned, issuing a Port Authority press release before the weekend only made it more visible
Healthcare Policy in NJ: The Biggest Issues to Watch in the Year Ahead
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Medicaid changes, Supreme Court‘s ACA decision, state health costs are at top of agenda for 2015
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