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NJ Spotlight Daily News

December 5, 2014

Legislation Would Let Families Record Activities in Nursing-Home Rooms
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocates say measure would safeguard residents but nursing-home owners and workers contend it would undermine trust and violate privacy
Lawmakers Aim to Protect Consumers from Rip-Offs by Third-Party Suppliers
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Three-bill package would help make sure energy customers aren’t hit with huge price increases and can understand complex contracts
Legislature Sets Sights on Rescuing Atlantic City from Financial Brink
Meir Rinde | Planning
Senate President Sweeney introduces package of five bills intended to address city’s ‘fiscal nightmare’
Probe Raises Red Flags About Efficiency of Spending by American Red Cross
Pro Publica/NPR | Social
Charity claims less than 10 percent of donated money goes toward expenses, but real overhead costs have been much higher
Opinion: Forget the Pig-Crate Bill, Christie Faces Real Policy Issues
Carl Golden | Opinion
The only thing significant about governor’s veto is how it was immediately framed in terms of his undeclared national ambitions
New Jersey, Among Most Affluent States, Still Sees Rise in Poverty Rate
NJTV | Social
Advocates for the poor cite NJ’s high housing costs and economic recovery that’s lagging behind rest of nation

December 4, 2014

Private Donations Fuel New Jersey’s Long-Term Recovery from Hurricane Sandy
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Two years after the storm, a look at where the money went and what lessons we can learn
Report Contains Good News About New Jersey’s Graduating Class of 2014
John Mooney | Education
Overall graduation rates are up slightly, as are those for African-American and Hispanic students
Moody’s: New Jersey’s Pension Funds Could Run Dry in Just 10 Years
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Bond-rating agency cites NJ Treasury admission in bond prospectus that puts unfunded liability at $83 billion under new federal standards
Now Comes the Hard Part: Divvying Up Funds for Saving New Jersey’s Open Space
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Open-space preservation was a divisive issue among environmentalists – and deciding what programs get funded could prove equally divisive
Higher-Performing Schools May Escape Tangle of State-Monitoring Red Tape
John Mooney | Education
Proposed waivers would give districts break from mandated periodic reviews if they maintain specific standards
Community Involvement Called Crucial in Fighting Childhood Obesity
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Experts at conference in Edison note importance of tailoring efforts to target different social groups, coordinating public-health efforts
Poll: Gov. Chris Christie and His Interest in Camden -- What’s the Real Deal?
Why is the governor investing so much money -- and political capital -- in the troubled city of Camden?

December 3, 2014

Manufacturers Coalition Urges $100M Rollback in Clean-Energy Subsidies
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Group argues state consistently collects more subsidies than it can spend, which leads to money being diverted to fill budget holes
Profile: New Jersey’s Mild-Mannered Environmental Lawyer
Lee Keough | Energy & Environment, Profiles
Although widely admired for his gentle demeanor, Edward Lloyd won't give an inch when it comes to the environment
Businesses in NJ Look to Insure Workers Through Federal Marketplace
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Federal grant connects enrollment aid with small business employees
NJ Police Build Up Arsenals with Surplus Combat Weapons and Military Gear
NJTV News | Social
Nearly 1,000 semiautomatic assault rifles now in hands of cops through Garden State
Garden State’s Latino Population Lags Far Behind in Obamacare Signups
Healthcare, Social
Immigration-related concerns cited by community activists as major reason for disparity
While ACA Enrollment Climbs, Future of Federal Marketplace Still Unclear
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Government subsidies for thousands of new enrollees will depend on ruling by U.S. Supreme Court
Explainer: Drop in Casino Tax Revenue Reflects Industry’s Decline in New Jersey
Mark J. Magyar | Explainer
Casino taxes support programs for elderly and disabled, but budgetary impact is limited because state’s casino tax rate is so low

December 2, 2014

Senate Bans ‘Coal Rolling’ -- Way to Bypass Pollution Controls on Diesel Vehicles
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Retrofitting diesel-powered cars and trucks with smokestacks drives up amount of soot, other pollution they spew into air
Op-Ed: Dispelling Five ‘Falsehoods’ About Newark’s School System
Chris Cerf | Opinion
Despite narrative of failure, former state education chief says Newark has met with success on numerous fronts
Update on PARCC Testing, ‘Snapshot’ of Class of 2014 on Agenda Tomorrow
John Mooney | Education
Board will also review guidelines for state’s oversight of four large urban school districts
Older Structures Pose Particular Challenge in Post-Sandy Rebuilding
WHYY/NewsWorks | Maps, Sandy
From Jersey City to the Jersey Shore, those renovating and retrofitting buildings must comply with new flood regulations
Are There Bigger and Deeper Potholes on the Road to New Jersey’s Future?
WNYC/NJPR | Transportation
Raising the gasoline tax could help refuel the Transportation Trust Fund -- Here’s why it may not happen

December 1, 2014

The List: Eye Doctors Top List of NJ Physicians Paid the Most by Medicare
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, The List
Payments linked to some doctors soar into millions of dollars, but raw numbers don’t necessarily reflect take-home pay for those who head up medical groups
Day of Judgment Draws Near for New Jersey's New Teacher-Evaluation System
John Mooney | Education
Amid debate during first year of implementation, key juncture will be reached soon when teachers get their individual ratings
Inadequate Drug-Addiction Treatment Available in NJ has Many Roots
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocates call for improving access to care through expansion of programs, better coordination, other measures
Proposed EPA Smog Standard Could Help NJ Residents Breathe Easier -- Eventually
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
States would have from 2020 through 2037 to comply, depending on the severity of their air pollution problems

November 26, 2014

NJ Teacher Evaluations Are: a) Mostly a Success b) Still Need Work c) Both
John Mooney | Education
How was the first year of New Jersey’s new teacher evaluation system? Depends on whom you ask
Corporate Supporters