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Explainer Guide

Explainer: What Is the ‘Cadillac Tax,’ and Why Does It Matter to New Jersey?
Mark J. Magyar | November 4, 2014 | Explainer
Obamacare excise tax would hit New Jersey harder than most states, Christie and his pension/health benefits commission warn
Explainer: How Well Is New Jersey Doing In Protecting Its Waterways?
Tom Johnson | October 28, 2014 | Explainer
The Garden State continues to struggle to meet federal water-quality standards -- and it shows
The Explainer: Who Can Vote, Where to Vote, and Other Election Day Info
Colleen O'Dea | October 21, 2014 | Explainer, Elections 2014
New Jersey’s rules and regulations for eligibility to cast ballots are relatively easy and straightforward
Explainer: How New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Law Works
Andrew Kitchenman | October 14, 2014 | Healthcare, Explainer
Governor opposed to medicinal-pot program has now implemented it, but critics see it as country’s most restrictive
Explainer: Why Sandy Aid Has Taken So Long to Reach People Impacted by Storm
Scott Gurian | October 7, 2014 | Explainer, Sandy
Nearly two years after the historic hurricane hit New Jersey, a look at what’s holding up the money
Explainer: Getting Inside the Urban Hope Act -- and ‘Renaissance Schools’
John Mooney | September 30, 2014 | Education, Explainer
Opening the way for charter networks to gain a toehold in the city, new law could transform education in Camden
Explainer: How Does New Jersey Tax Gasoline Sales?
Mark J. Magyar | September 23, 2014 | Explainer
NJ levies both a gas tax and a petroleum products gross-receipts tax, but both add up to the second-lowest gas tax in the nation
Explainer: Shopping for Cheaper Energy Remains a Chancy Undertaking
Tom Johnson | September 16, 2014 | Energy & Environment, Explainer
Unexpected spikes in prices is one reason that the state is looking into ways to better regulate alternative power suppliers
Explainer: Coming Up to Speed on the Common Core State Standards
John Mooney | September 9, 2014 | Education, Explainer
Just mentioning ‘Common Core’ is a good way to provoke an argument, but what’s behind all the anxiety?
Explainer: The Facts About Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise in New Jersey
Scott Gurian | September 2, 2014 | Explainer
By the end of the century, the Garden State's current coast could be under more than three feet of water
Explainer: Why NJ's Unfunded Liability for Retirees Is $90 Billion and Rising
Mark J. Magyar | August 12, 2014 | Budget, Politics, Explainer
Funding gap grows because NJ continues to underfund pensions and covers retiree healthcare costs on pay-as-you-go basis
Explainer: SNAP Helps 1 in 10 New Jersey Residents Put Food on Table
Hank Kalet | August 5, 2014 | Explainer
Food stamps program was renamed, in part, to reflect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s focus on healthier diet
Explainer: ACA’s Impact More Gradual for Those Whose Jobs Provide Insurance
Andrew Kitchenman | July 29, 2014 | Healthcare, Explainer, Affordable Care Act
As ‘grandfathered’ plans fade, however, more will be affected by new health coverage regulations
Explainer: Why It's Safe to Ride That Terrifying Roller-Coaster
Colleen O'Dea | July 22, 2014 | Explainer
Before the first person steps aboard a carnival ride, NJ has certified, registered, and inspected it, and made sure it complies with 137 pages of code
Explainer: What It Really Takes to Keep the Lights On in the Garden State
Tom Johnson | July 15, 2014 | Explainer
Aging power plants, pipelines blocked from crossing protected land, financing schemes that won't fly -- it's not just a matter of throwing a switch
Explainer: A Primer on Homelessness in the State of New Jersey
Hank Kalet | July 8, 2014 | Social, Explainer
Point-in-time count reveals that nearly 14,000 men, women, and children had no place to call home -- excluding tent encampments, abandoned buildings, and the like -- at the start of the year
Explainer: Impact of PARCC Tests on Teachers, Schools at Center of Debate
John Mooney | July 1, 2014 | Education, Explainer
Controversial exams tied to Common Core Standards scheduled to debut in NJ during next school year
Explainer: What’s Behind NJ’s Proposal to Reduce Size of Ammunition Clips
Hank Kalet | June 23, 2014 | Explainer
Advocates say it would force shooters to reload more frequently; foes say larger clips help law-abiding citizens defend themselves
Explainer: Taking the Misunderstanding Out of Medicare Advantage
Andrew Kitchenman | June 16, 2014 | Healthcare, Explainer, Affordable Care Act
NJ trails country in percentage of seniors who choose private insurance plans
Explainer: How New Master Plans Are Shaping NJ’s Flagship State University
Chase Brush | June 10, 2014 | Education, Explainer
Can ambitious plans transform Rutgers into 'one of the nation's great universities?'
Explainer: How Do Our Judges Make It to the Bench in New Jersey?
Colleen O'Dea | June 3, 2014 | Explainer
The Garden State has chosen to appoint rather than elect judges, but that doesn't keep politics out of the process
Explainer: The Debate Over Defined-Benefit vs. Defined-Contribution Pensions
Mark J. Magyar | May 27, 2014 | Budget, Explainer
Both approaches have gotten a lot of press of late, here's a way to cut through the doubletalk
Explainer: Why NJ’s Bond Rating Was Downgraded, and Why It Matters
Mark J. Magyar | May 20, 2014 | Budget, Explainer
Higher interest rates resulting from shaky credit status means it will cost more for the state to borrow money
Explainer: State Control of Local School Districts Comes Under Fire in Third Decade
John Mooney | May 13, 2014 | Education, Explainer
Once viewed as a pioneering initiative, New Jersey’s approach now assailed by many as usurping community’s role
Explainer: Medicaid ACO's Try to Bring Better Healthcare to Low-Income Areas
Andrew Kitchenman | May 6, 2014 | Healthcare, Explainer, Affordable Care Act
Pilot project offers incentives for reducing costs while better coordinating patient care
Explainer: How Has New Jersey Responded to Global Warming?
Tom Johnson | April 29, 2014 | Energy & Environment, Explainer
Programs and plans are in place, but it seems ever more obvious that the state is going to miss its targets, typically by a wide margin
Explainer: Just How Bad Is New Jersey's Foreclosure Crisis?
Joe Tyrrell | April 22, 2014 | Explainer
The Garden State has the country's highest percentage of foreclosures among mortgaged homes -- and that's just the beginning
Explainer: Protecting NJ Coastal Development with Beaches, Walls and Dunes
Scott Gurian | April 15, 2014 | Explainer, Sandy
Shore communities consider structural safeguards to make themselves safer from future storms
Explainer: Trying to Find a Stable Source of Funds for Open-Space Preservation
Tom Johnson | April 8, 2014 | Energy & Environment, Planning, Explainer, Elections 2014
Despite continued support from voters, open-space preservation is flat broke, and it may take a constitutional amendment to bring it back to life
Explainer: How a Bill Becomes a Law in the Garden State
Colleen O'Dea | April 1, 2014 | Politics, Explainer
Complicated and sometimes almost contradictory, the path from draft bill to new legislation is long and winding
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