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NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 15, 2015

What Will Local Control in Newark Mean to Paterson, Jersey City, Camden?
John Mooney | Education
Plans for Newark raise possibilities -- and hopes -- for three cities whose schools are at least under partial state operation
Mayors in Meadowlands Region See First Checks from Hotel-Tax Fund
Lilo H. Stainton | More Issues, Social, Planning
State and local officials scramble to implement new law that consolidates three regional entities

July 14, 2015

Christie to Public-Employee Unions: No Contracts, No Step Increases in Salaries
John Reitmeyer | Budget
The administration takes a tough stand on step increases, but unions argue that incremental pay is typically paid without a signed and sealed contract
Judge: Environmentalists, Lesniak Can’t Intervene in Exxon Mobil Case
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Decision asserts DEP’s involvement in case creates ‘presumption of adequate representation’ and that Democratic senator isn't needed
Meadowlands Hospital Union Accuses State of Lax Enforcement of Regulations
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Health commissioner defends approach, calls oversight ‘precedent-setting,’ while hospital cites union’s animosity toward for-profits
Explainer: Looking Into the Emergency Services Length of Service Award Program
Marc Pfeiffer | Explainer
LOSAPs are used to reward volunteer fire companies and EMT squads, but the best way to keep them out of trouble is to ensure adequate oversight
Opinion: If Christie Loses Common Touch, Can He Win Republican Nomination?
Carl Golden | Opinion
Yes, the governor won twice in New Jersey, but the state may not be as ‘blue’ as he suggests
Commissioner Shuffles Duties, Positions at State Department of Education
John Mooney | Education
Changes by Hespe stem from shifts in administration’s priorities for last two years of Christie’s tenure

July 13, 2015

Bipartisan Bill Seeks More Transparency for State's Tax-Incentive Programs
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Assemblyman Singleton wants regular reviews detailing the effectiveness of tax breaks to be posted online
School-Security Task Force's Report Recommends Measures to Bolster Safety
John Mooney | Education
While calling for giving staff and students ID and access cards, panel hedges on armed personnel and silent ‘panic alarms’
In New Jersey, Undercounted Alzheimer’s Cases Spur Legislative Action
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Bills seek to increase awareness and training among providers, add disease as secondary cause of death
NJ Deemed in Good Shape to Implement Administration's Clean-Power Plan
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Report State should have fewer problems than neighbors reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, thanks to limited coal-fired generation
The List: Top 10 Counties in New Jersey with the Highest Foreclosure Rates
Max Leone | The List
The Garden State has the dubious distinction of having the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country
Op-Ed: The ‘New’ New Jersey Mathematics Standards -- Circa 2009
Joseph G. Rosenstein | Opinion
The Common Core standards place an unnecessary emphasis on Algebra II, which all NJ students do not need to master

July 10, 2015

State Allocates $10M for Nursing Homes Buffeted by Changes in Medicaid Spending
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Equal match in state and federal funds works out to roughly $1 per patient per day
President’s Blocked Actions on Immigration Worth $12B to NJ, Report Affirms
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Christie joins with governors of other states in legal brief opposing Obama’s executive orders
Nine Proposed Charters Clear First Hurdle in State's Application Process
John Mooney | Education
But 14 applications are denied, including two proposed for suburban communities and one offering virtual learning
JCP&L Pushes Ahead With System Upgrades Designed to Boost Reliability
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State’s second-largest utility approaching halfway mark with total of 90 circuit enhancements planned

July 9, 2015

Why New Jersey Got Billions Less Than New York in FEMA Disaster Aid After Sandy
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Critics say New Jersey could have been more proactive, fighting harder for more money
Cerf Wins Newark Schools Job in Narrow Vote – and Now Comes the Hard Part
John Mooney | Education
New superintendent faces tensions over ties to Cami Anderson and community frustration with state control of district
DEP, Exxon Mobil Move to Block Lesniak, ‘Green’ Groups From Joining Case
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
According to state agency, letting lawmakers and environmentalists intervene would ‘complicate and lengthen’ natural-resources damage suit
Increase in ‘Senior Freeze’ Earnings Cap Put on Ice Once Again by Christie, Lawmakers
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor, Democratic Legislature keep income limit at $70,000 in program that limits property taxes for retirement-age and disabled homeowners
State Unveils Plan for Wide-Ranging Review of Common Core Standards
John Mooney | Education
Six-month initiative to reshape academic guidelines will include four committees, focus groups, online survey and ‘listening tours’
Pine Barrens Purchase Increases Size of Protected Tract to Over 10,000 Acres
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey Conservation Foundation adds 473 acres to Franklin Parker Preserve
New Jersey Cranks Up Its Efforts to Fight Opioid Addiction, Deaths
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Three new programs are awaiting the governor’s signature, while other legislation remains stalled in Legislature
Poll: Is It Time for State to Surrender Control of Local School Districts?
NJ has been in charge of some local districts for almost 30 years. Has its intervention done any good? It is time to move on?
Op-Ed: Debt is Critical for Governments; However, All Debt Is Not the Same
Richard F. Keevey | Opinion
New Jersey’s bonded debt is the fourth-highest per capita in the U.S., but most of it was issued for important infrastructure purposes

July 8, 2015

New Jersey’s Economy Is in the Tank, Maintains Conservative Think Tank
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Finishing next to last among 50 states for fiscal solvency, NJ gets dinged for chronically underfunded pension system, how well state can cover long-term liabilities
NJ’s Low-Income Families Could Get Solar, Thanks to Obama Administration
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Community-based solar could bring some sunshine to residents without roof space or capital to go it alone, but state Legislature needs to act
As Cooper-Backed EMS Bill Reconfigures Process, Virtua Mulls Its Options
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
NJ Hospital Association raises concerns about implications of changing certificate-of-need process, saying it could have unforeseen consequences statewide
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