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NJ Spotlight Daily News

March 13, 2015

Giant Indoor Garden to Grow Jobs, Vegetables in Newark’s Ironbound
Lilo H. Stainton | Energy & Environment
$30M AeroFarms to serve as anchor tenant in larger effort to cultivate sustainable employment in economically hard-hit city

March 12, 2015

Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man
Matt Katz and Andrea Bernstein | Katz on Christie
The political operative who helped mastermind the notorious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge -- and is now cooperating with a federal investigation of the Bridgegate scandal -- had more extensive contact ...
Commissioner Hespe Talks PARCC Testing to Senate Education Committee
John Mooney | Education
Senate panel is interested in getting answers about controversial online tests, but just in case a few more questions are needed ...
Environmentalists Campaign by Bus Ahead of Pinelands Commission Vote
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Conservationists hit the road to visit five New Jersey senators still believed to be undecided about controversial Barr nomination
New Data Indicates Survival Rates for High-Risk Surgeries Vary by Hospital
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Leapfrog Group report can inform decisions on where to go for surgeries, but doctors, other factors also matter
Poll: Less Than Bargained for -- Rating Christie’s $225M Exxon Settlement
At one time the state was looking for billions of dollars in damages, now it says millions will do
Senate President Drafts Bill Aimed at Speeding, Streamlining Sandy Recovery
Scott Gurian | Sandy
New legislation follows previous, failed attempt to enact a ‘Sandy Bill of Rights’
Corporate Subsidies, Open Space Come to Fore at Second Public Budget Hearing
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Critics raise questions about NJ’s faltering recovery, lawmakers agree that more transparency needed when awarding corporate incentives

March 11, 2015

Menendez, Hillary & Christie: Perfect Together
Katz on Christie
Senator Robert Menendez is facing possible federal corruption charges for accepting gifts from a Florida eye doctor. Hillary Clinton is confronting a media firestorm ...
COAH Is History: State's Top Court Declares Troubled Agency ‘Moribund’
Colleen O'Dea | Politics, Housing
NJ Supreme Court removes jurisdiction over affordable housing from executive branch in clear victory for housing advocates
Governor Goes on Defensive About Much-Criticized Exxon Mobil Settlement
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
Christie claims that administration’s $225M deal is ‘a really good settlement,’ neglects to mention billions state originally sought
Doctors, Advanced Practice Nurses Spar Over Authority to Sign Death Certificates
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Physicians sound alarm on diluting quality of healthcare; APNs contend they’re qualified and often deal more directly with patients
NJ’s Power Sector Mirrors Energy Trends Identified in New Federal Report
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Garden State shows increased reliance on solar and natural gas, but offshore wind continues to be a no-show
At First Public Hearing on Budget, Focus On What's Missing, What's Needed
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Speakers present Senate panel with list of items ranging from familiar -- school funding, transportation, pension benefits -- to substance-abuse treatment and others more easily overlooked
Profile: American Littoral Society’s Director Leads Efforts to Save Shore, Bays
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Profiles
Veteran conservationist's life near the coast has translated into his passion for protecting the seaside environment

March 10, 2015

State Senate Moves on Several Fronts to Block Exxon Mobil Settlement
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
One panel releases resolution condemning Christie administration’s drastically reduced payout in $8.9B case
Public-Employee Healthcare: The Sweeney Plan vs. the Christie Report
John Reitmeyer | Budget
State Senate president asserts that his own proposal calls for nothing less than eliminating the conventional fee-for-service payment model
Legislators Seek to Stem Rising Tide of Religious Exemptions to Vaccines
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Pediatricians, public-health advocates warn of disease outbreaks, but opponents allege persecution, cite constitutional concerns
Fine Print: Anderson Answers Legislature’s Questions About ‘One Newark,’ Budget
John Mooney | Education
Newark schools superintendent submits 35-page response to legislators’ questions in preview of follow-up hearing today
Explainer: Why Some Sandy Survivors Have Been Asked to Pay Back Aid They’ve Received
Scott Gurian | Explainer, Sandy
Some coastal residents have found that what the government giveth, the government can also taketh away
Doing the Math: PARCC Tests Will Cost State 10 Percent More Than Before
John Mooney | Education
Biggest reason for increase is that 200,000 more NJ students are taking standardized exams; administering tests online helps reduce expense

March 9, 2015

Unhappy Hurricane Sandy Survivors Confront Gov. Christie ... in Iowa
Scott Gurian | Politics, Sandy
Storm victims are intent on raising issue in a likely campaign, but will it stick?
Senate Panel to Move on Open-Space Bill, But No End to Funding Clash in Sight
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
No agreement among backers of new bill, Christie administration, and original proponents of ballot issue
Senate President Calls for Millionaire’s Tax to Help Close State Pension Gap
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Christie dismisses idea at town hall meeting, but gets numbers wrong for current top-end tax and potential revenue
The List: Top 10 Donors to GOP Governors Association with Christie at Helm
Colleen O'Dea | Politics, The List
NJ’s top exec spent about a third of year helping RGA raise a healthy chunk of cash -- and garnering a huge amount of attention for himself
Many Hospitals in New Jersey Would See Deep Cuts in State Funding for Charity Care
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Christie administration asserts Medicaid expansion has drastically reduced need to subsidize costs for treating poor, uninsured
Christie Appointee to Panel Studying Testing Has Unique Insight– He’s a Teacher
John Mooney | Education
Educator supports PARCC but worries about challenges for poorer students; NJ Spotlight offers one last sample question to try your hand at standardized exam

March 6, 2015

$225 Million Proposed Settlement in Exxon Mobil Case Continues to Draw Fire
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislators, environmentalists demand full accounting of how controversial agreement was reached
Gauging the Health of Sick-Leave Mandates Adopted by Some Municipalities in NJ
Meir Rinde | Politics
Cities and towns across the state have implemented sick-leave laws, but business groups are taking their objections to court
Slow-Moving Review Process Snags Medicaid Payments to Nursing Homes, Patients
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Legislation would require state to pay out benefits while it determines eligibility
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