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NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 20, 2016

Ten Bills that Matter: Assessing Christie’s Latest Signings and Pocket Vetoes
NJ Spotlight staff | Politics
The governor put his name to some key legislation yesterday, but also let equally important measures languish
Christie Kills Legislation Meant to Guarantee $80M for Open-Space Funding
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
Governor’s spokesman offers no rationale for pocket veto, but suggests too many measures were pushed through at end of prior legislative year
Op-Ed: Open Letter to Commissioner Hespe About Newark’s Charter Schools
Mashea Ashton | Opinion
Reject calls for a moratorium on charter growth and instead focus on ways to expand Newark families’ access to high-quality education options

January 19, 2016

Shakespeare Aside, Evidence Doesn’t Match Christie’s Claim He Ended Common Core
John Mooney | Education
Task force recommendations call for hundreds of changes, but mostly in wording of questions and not so much in substance
Tougher New Law for Cleaning Up Port Authority on Way from NJ Democrats
John Reitmeyer | Politics, Transportation
Legislation for overseeing troubled agency already signed by Govs. Christie and Cuomo, but sponsors of new measure argue more is needed
Another Natural-Gas Power Plant for New Jersey, Courtesy of Genesis Power
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Expected to be operational in 2018, $1 billion facility could deliver electricity to 700,000 homes
Opinion: On Governing New Jersey -- Lessons From Tax Preparation School
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff | Opinion
One of the greatest sources of complexity in the state tax code is that it doesn’t conform with its federal counterpart
Explainer: Changing Nature of New Jersey’s Electric Utility Sector
Tom Johnson | Explainer
We’re witnessing the transformation of a century-old industry sector, most likely to the benefit of customers

January 15, 2016

Conservative Talk Radio Is Having A Presidential Moment
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Preaching against the scourges of political correctness and the mainstream media, conservative talk radio has influenced, and reflected, the Republican electorate for a quarter-century. But in a presidential campaign...
NJ and Neighboring States Call for Probe of Agency's Natural-Gas Stance
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Coalition of 165 groups accuse Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of rubberstamping projects and playing favorites with natural-gas industry
Atlantic City Anxious About Gaming in Northern NJ, State Takeover of Finances
John Reitmeyer | More Issues, Politics
Gambling resort argues that allowing gaming in north Jersey will only lead to more casino closures, layoffs and job losses in South Jersey
Interactive Map: Another View of State’s Affordable Housing Obligations
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
A map from a consulting firm hired by some 200 towns and cities shows far fewer units needed than estimated by fair-housing advocates
Advocates Urge Lifting Ban on Welfare Aid for Those Guilty of Drug Distribution
Hank Kalet | More Issues, Social
Removing restriction on getting public assistance touted as way to help those who have served their time become productive members of society
Op-Ed: A Modest Proposal Regarding Cost-of-Living Adjustments
Charles Ouslander | Opinion
Taking a page from the federal government may be the best way to end the rancorous discussions about the public-employee retirement system

January 14, 2016

New Jersey Could Earn Over $2 Billion From Sale of Public TV Airwaves
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
State decides to participate in FCC auction intended to free up broadband spectrum for wireless providers
Two-Year and Four-Year Colleges Join to Help Students Cope with Costs
Tara Nurin | Education
Soaring higher-education costs prompt NJ schools to find innovative ways to help ease financial burden
Opinion: Dr. Christie and Mr. Hyde Deliver State of State Address
Carl Golden | Opinion
Speech swings between apocalyptic predictions about Democratic policies and humane concerns for drug addicts and mentally ill
Price Tag for Cleaning Up Wastewater Treatment in NJ Could Run to $17 Billion
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
One big driver: Wastewater often ends up in rivers New Jerseyans rely on for drinking water
Poll: Will Christie’s Approach to Drug Addiction Benefit the State?
Polling
The governor proposes new strategies for what’s become a signature issue, but will they make a difference?

January 13, 2016

Christie’s NJ Speech Really Aimed at Voters in Iowa, NH, Critics Contend
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Democrats complain campaign-style speech lacks details while GOP applauds call for eliminating estate tax, bolstering drug-treatment programs
Gov. Christie Dodges Toughest Issues in His State of State Address
Tom Johnson | Politics
What the governor didn’t deal with: transportation funding, state pension system, property taxes, credit downgrades -- and that’s the short list
Gov. Christie Champions Charter Schools, But Will Talk Lead to Action?
John Mooney | Education
The governor makes some big promises for charters, but has delivered a mixed message on the subject in the past
Governor Lays Out Plan for Combating Drug Addiction and Reducing Overdoses
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Proposals include $100M increase for treatment reimbursement, turning former prison into facility to help addicted inmates
Profile: Prosecutor Makes Unlikely Advocate for Marijuana-Law Reforms
Lilo H. Stainton | Profiles
Self-described ‘lifelong conservative’ joins ACLU in fight to ‘legalize it…’ in New Jersey
State's Top Court Declines to Reverse Appellate Judges in Cooper-Virtua EMS Case
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Order leaves Cooper in charge of paramedics, but Virtua still hopes to win appeal
Op-Ed: We Need to House Garden State’s Homeless, Not Punish Them
Udi Ofer, Richard Brown, and Serena Rice | Opinion
Instead of implementing punitive policies targeting the state’s poorest residents, we should increase funding for proven solutions to homelessness

January 12, 2016

Christie, Democratic Leaders Join Forces to Bring Casinos to North Jersey
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Constitutional amendment to expand gambling into northern part of state could mean thousands of jobs, millions in revenue, and a lifeline for struggling Atlantic City
Christie’s Education Talking Points Yield More Questions, Few Clear Answers
John Mooney | Education
Reports on academic standards, PARCC exams and graduation requirements offer some policy tweaks on eve of governor’s speech
Governor’s Conditional Veto Reforms Small-Business Retirement Plan
Lilo H. Stainton | Politics
Legislature willing to accept changes, despite disappointment, anger of some advocate groups
State Assembly Puts DEP’s Controversial Water-Quality Proposal on Ice
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers pass resolution saying revisions proposed by state agency are contrary to legislative intent of current laws
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