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NJ Spotlight Daily News

April 3, 2014

Federal Audit Says NJ Hospitals Were Overpaid $44M for Medicaid Services
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Inspector general asks for $22M federal share to be repaid, state disputes finding
Poll: What's Gov. Brendan Byrne's Most Lasting Legacy in Garden State?
Politics, Polling
Income taxes or casino gambling? Or maybe it was the former Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands

April 2, 2014

OLS: Even After Midyear Cuts, Christie's Still $526 Million Short
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Budget chairman questions retroactive pension cut, tobacco bond maneuver, and need to make cuts year after year
OLS: Even After Midyear Budget Cuts, Christie’s Still $526 Million Short
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Budget chairman questions retroactive pension cut, tobacco bond maneuver, and need to make cuts year after year
State Board of Public Utilities Takes Tougher Stance on Tree-Trimming
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Downed trees kept millions without power in wake of Sandy, other extreme weather
Opinion: Unlike Predecessors, for Gov. Christie, It's Not Easy Being Green
R. William Potter | Opinion
New Jersey has a bipartisan tradition of governors who have tried to protect the environment -- and then there's the current chief executive
Profile: Former Basketball-Playing 'Dark Lord' of the Chemistry Industry Council
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Profiles
Hal Bozarth is one of the most effective lobbyists in Trenton, at least in part because he can forge alliances with apparent opponents
Healthcare Experts See Cost Pressures Driving Innovation in Medical Field
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
It may seem counterintuitive, but panelists contend that lowering costs could create space for new treatments
Irvington Gains Allies in Standoff with Bankers Over ‘Underwater’ Mortgages
Joe Tyrrell | More Issues, Social, Housing
Lenders accused of threatening thinly-veiled version of minority neighborhood ‘red-lining’
NJTV News with Mike Schneider: No Clarity on School Funding
NJ Spotlight's John Mooney discusses some of the ramifications of the governor's decision to forego the state-aid formula
Agenda: New Schools Chief Back on the Job (Again) at Board Meeting Today
John Mooney | Education
David Hespe back at helm of Department of Education as state faces host of big decisions

April 1, 2014

June Primary to Feature Races for Three Vacant Congressional Seats
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Party votes will winnow down ballots for general election votes in November for House, Senate
Shortfall forces retroactive pension cut, tobacco bond gimmick
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Moody’s says Christie administration’s reliance on short-term savings that add to future costs reflects budgetary weakness
Sandy Action Plan Would Give Critical Sites Money They Can Bank On
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Energy Resiliency Bank would distribute federal funds to keep lights on at key facilities even if power grid goes down
Many in New Jersey Use Hospital Emergency Rooms When Dental Problems Arise
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Young adults and low-income residents most frequently seek treatment in ERs, Rutgers report finds
Initiative Seeks to Safeguard Water Quality, from Highlands to Delaware Bay
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Nonprofit foundation’s $35 million effort aims to slow development, protect aquifer, reduce pollution in sensitive areas
Opinion: Sexist Depiction of Bridget Kelly Returns Bridgegate to Front Page
Carl Golden | Opinion
Why did Christie's million-dollar lawyer think it necessary to portray Kelly as unstable, insecure victim of failed romance
Explainer: How a Bill Becomes a Law in the Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | Politics, Explainer
Complicated and sometimes almost contradictory, the path from draft bill to new legislation is long and winding
Christie Wins and Loses in Vegas After Bridgegate Report Exonerates Him
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Late last week, lawyers for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released a report clearing him of responsibility in the Bridgegate scandal. Then he left for Las Vegas, leaving his supporters and critics alike to discuss the implications on the Sunday talk shows.

March 31, 2014

Breaking Up PA Would Solve Christie's Transportation Trust Fund Problem
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Tapping Port Authority toll revenues would enable the governor to avoid racking up massive debt or raising the gas tax -- two bad moves during the 2016 presidential primaries
In State Where Marijuana is Now Legal, Lessons and Challenges for New Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, More Issues, Politics, Social
Colorado officials have lingering concerns, but advocates cite benefits of decriminalizing sale, possession and use of pot
As Statewide Testing Looms, Lawmakers Start to Raise Questions
John Mooney | Education
Concerns being raised on both sides of aisle about who is being tested and how the results will be used
Fine Print: New Legislation Aims to Put a Stop to Fracking Before It Begins
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
While environmentalists and business interests wrangle over new measure, it has an interesting twist: It's sponsored by a Republican
Contract’s Deadline Taking Its Toll on Turnpike and Parkway Collectors
Tara Nurin | More Issues, Transportation
Workers say they had little choice but to agree to private takeover that will likely lead to pay cuts and layoffs
The List: Ten Unexpected Disasters That Could Affect New Jersey
Scott Gurian | The List
Earthquakes, civil unrest, pandemics, cyber attacks -- New Jerseyans prone to anxiety may want to skip this list
How Does It Feel to Still Be Without a Home, Nearly 18 Months After Sandy?
Tracey Samuelson/WHYY NewsWorks | Sandy
Hundreds of New Jersey storm victims remain in temporary housing, but exact number is unclear

March 30, 2014

A Jilted Lover, a 'Crazy' Man and Diane Sawyer: What Christie Crisis Management Looks Like
Matt Katz | Social, Katz on Christie
The internal Bridgegate report released by a legal team hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office contains some new information, but not much. The report is more instructive as a study of crisis management -- and an examination of how a possible presidential candidate reacted to a crisis.

March 28, 2014

Mastro ‘Exoneration’ Lays Out Christie Presidential Comeback Strategy
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Governor’s lawyer attacks Zimmer’s honesty, portrays Kelly as unstable jilted lover, and takes Christie’s word over ‘crazy’ Wildstein
Motion Filed in State’s Top Court Challenges Christie Over School Aid
John Mooney | Education
Education Law Center, citing Abbott v. Burke mandates, says governor can’t ignore funding formula stipulated by statute
Senate Committee Votes Out Bill That Would Require Return to RGGI
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Business interests claim rejoining regional initiative to lower greenhouse gases would drive up price of power in Garden State