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NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 30, 2018

Rule Allowing State Workers to Donate Unused Leave to Co-Workers to be Made Law
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Sen. Loretta Weinberg behind effort to legally codify New Jersey’s donated-leave policy, which has been praised for promoting teamwork
EPA Tried to Ease Rule on Truck Pollution but Backs Off — For Now
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Federal agency will enforce regulation that curbs pollution from diesel trucks after court sides with several states, including New Jersey. But skirmishing expected to continue
Budget Breakdown: The Billions Spent on Education
NJ Spotlight staff | Budget
In the second special NJTV News report on Garden State budget, NJ Spotlight’s John Reitmeyer looks at the single biggest spending item, $15 billion on education
Op-Ed: Harnessing Offshore Wind — Do it Fast, But Do it Right
Clarke Bruno | Opinion
Murphy administration wants to jumpstart clean energy, but state law prohibits whole category of companies from bidding on key work. That could be costly for ratepayers

July 27, 2018

ACLU-NJ Sues School Districts for Asking About Immigration Status
John Mooney and Colleen O'Dea | Education, Social
Attorney argues that districts illegally request photo licenses or state ID cards to prevent students from registering for schools
Radio Station Suspends Hosts for Using Racial Slur Against State Attorney General
John Reitmeyer | Politics, Social
Politicians of every stripe jump to support AG Gurbir Grewal, the first Sikh-American in the country to hold such a position
AG Challenges Federal Agency for Inadequate Review of Gas Pipelines
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Gurbir Grewal among several attorneys general critical of FERC’s decision to not take climate change into account in certification process
Grewal Tries to Block Texas Company’s Release of Plans for 3-D Guns on Internet
Colleen O'Dea | Social
AG orders company to ‘cease and desist’ from making computer files available online that NJ residents could use to ‘print’ their own guns
Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Steps Down After Just One Year
Carly Sitrin | Education
Debasish Dutta tells student his ‘vision for the chancellorship’ doesn’t mesh with the way the university sees the position
Op-Ed: EDA Challenges NJ to Rethink ‘Old Ways,’ Become Innovative Again
Tim Sullivan | Opinion
State agency launches program to rekindle spirit of innovation in New Jersey, invites local governments to compete for new planning awards
A Critical Question for NJ Towns: What Do You Do with a Dying Mall?
NJTV News | Planning
There are more than 30 enclosed malls dotted across the Garden State — many in trouble — but some experts insist they can be given a new lease on life
Justice Anne Patterson Reconfirmed for State Supreme Court
NJTV News | More Issues
Christie appointee sails smoothly through Senate committee review. It appears there’s less drama in court with Murphy in governor’s office

July 26, 2018

Wind Farms for the Jersey Shore — State Outlines a Critical Rule
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Board of Public Utilities explains key funding mechanism for offshore-wind projects. Developers are keen, but some clean-energy advocates chide agency for lack of specifics
Charges of Racism Leveled at Assembly Hearing on Affordable Housing
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Claims that towns don’t have adequate infrastructure or large enough school systems to meet steep housing obligations dismissed as economic segregation
Hoping for the Next Google, State Will Help Pay Rent of Startups and Tech Firms
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Keen to make New Jersey hospitable to new cutting-edge businesses, governor announces modest incentives he says could be beefed up if they deliver results
BPU Orders Utilities to Do Better Job Keeping Lights on During Big Storms
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Agency directives include better sharing of crews outside franchise areas and improved communication with customers about restoration efforts
Extending National Flood Insurance Program Through Hurricane Season
WHYY News | Energy & Environment
The program, which is under severe financial stress, had been set to expire

July 25, 2018

Big Changes to School Funding in NJ as Fragile Alliance Holds
John Mooney | Education
New law to lessen disparities in aid, and governor promises every district will be fully funded by 2025
Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About School Funding in NJ
Carly Sitrin | Explainer
Funding for New Jersey’s K-12 schools is one of the state’s most divisive issues, pitting district against district. How did it ever get that way?
State Suspends Low-Level Marijuana Cases Until September — For a Start
Carly Sitrin | Politics
Attorney General says decision buys time for working group to advise on prosecutorial authority and downgrading of charges. Directive does not extend to law enforcement
NJ Makes Move to Bring Solar Power to Communities that Have Been Locked Out
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey has given billions of dollars in ratepayer subsidies for solar systems, largely to benefit the better-off. It’s now pushing to include less affluent residents
Booker Leads NJ Opposition to Census Question on Citizenship
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Senator calls proposal ‘shameful attempt to inject nativist, bigoted politics’ into population count. New Jersey groups mobilize to stop it
NJ Picked as ‘Learning Lab’ to Improve State Services Using Digital Technology
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Better information for NJ Transit riders, a more efficient Newark Airport. These and other government initiatives are promised

July 24, 2018

Sweeney Maneuvers to Strip Governor of Key Budget Power, Denies It’s Hostile
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Governor has sole authority to certify revenues. But, if Senate President is successful, that won’t be the case for much longer
Murphy CVs Bill Forcing Divestiture from Companies Dodging Superfund Cleanups
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Legislation targets pension-fund investments. Governor says divestiture should be one option among several afforded to State Investment Council
NJ Issues First Advisories for Consumption of Fish Containing PFAS Chemicals
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
State scientists recommend limits for 12 species found to contain chemicals linked to cancers and other illnesses
New Law Requiring Candidates to Provide Email Helps Voters Stay Connected
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Governor puts his signature to bill finally ending state’s inefficient, ineffective reliance on snail mail to reach candidates
Profile: Onetime Obama Staffer Now Steers Higher Ed in NJ
Carly Sitrin | Profiles
Georgia native focuses on developing ‘first-class, best-in-the-nation, free community college plan’ for New Jersey
Op-Ed: New Jersey Should Adopt Safe Nurse-to-Patient Limit
Ann Twomey, John Brady and Donna Kelly-Williams | Opinion
Having too few nurses working in healthcare facilities is to the detriment of patients and staff. Legislation to set reasonable ratio is proposed for NJ. It could save lives

July 23, 2018

‘Sin Taxes’ Are Unlikely to Deliver Revenue Bonanza to New Jersey
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Lawmakers in NJ recently enacted new taxes on e-cigarettes and sports betting. Analysis suggests the new taxes won’t do much for state coffers
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