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NJ Spotlight Daily News

May 20, 2019

Sweeney Delivers Seven Bills That Take on Thorny Issues in NJ Education
John Mooney | Education
As part of his ‘Path to Progress’ campaign, senate president presents proposals on school consolidation and special education
Libraries Must Wait for Access to Much-Needed Bond Funds
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
It’s 18 months since voters approved $125 million to upgrade municipal and county libraries, but officials are still teasing out the regulations
Some Part-Time Lecturers Not Happy with New Rutgers Contract
Carly Sitrin | Education
‘The people at the top got what they wanted but the rest of us didn’t,’ said a founder of new Rank-and-File Caucus
Private Partners to Fund Overdue Energy Upgrades at Government Facilities?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Lawmakers warm to prospect of private investment in long neglected projects, including in renewable energy
Providers of Key Child Therapies Plagued by Billing System Problems
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Now the state wants to recoup millions that it loaned to agencies pending a fix even though billing troubles — and payment troubles — persist
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May 17, 2019

Marijuana Law Dies: What Now for Expungement, Investors and Medical Use?
Carly Sitrin | Politics
After Senate President Sweeney decides to leave legalization of recreational cannabis to voters, there’s widespread confusion about what comes next
Politicians Could Punt To Voters On How To Put NJ’s Fiscal House In Order
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Locked in bitter dispute with governor over budget, senate president proposes a referendum on cuts in public-worker benefits
Lawmakers Embrace Goal Of A Fossil-fuel Free New Jersey By 2050
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Business groups say bill approved by committee moves too fast, while advocates say concrete steps are needed to stem global warming
Three Governors Pledge to Cooperate on Delaware River Basin Environment
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
The governors call for more federal support. Gov. Phil Murphy says one way to prepare for climate change is to elect a new president
Grewal Joins Other AGs In Battle Over Relaxing Payday-loan Rules
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
Under Trump, a federal consumer-watchdog agency is stepping away from ruling that some lenders used ‘unfair and abusive practices’
Op-Ed: Governor’s Veto of the ‘Dark Money’ Bill Is Wrong for New Jersey
David Goodman | Opinion
Calling on legislators to ‘recognize the errors of the governor’s action and correct this wrong’
Camden Leaders Push Back Against Critics of Tax Breaks
David Cruz | NJTV News | Budget
Former Gov. Jim Florio among those who vouch for value of tax incentives in revitalizing the city
Lawmakers Hear From Officials About Teacher Shortage In New Jersey
Raven Santana | NJTV News | Education
State officials are working to address shortfalls in the ranks of math, science, bilingual-instruction, ESL and career and technical educators

May 16, 2019

Questions About NJ’s Surprise-Billing Law, And One Call for Changes
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Although out-of-state transfers are rare, one doctor insists patients fully understand out-of-pocket costs, before they go anywhere
Rate Counsel Challenges Nuclear Subsidy in Appellate Court
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The amount of the surcharge, which PSEG helped determine, likely to be a linchpin in the proceedings
Sweeney: Let Voters Decide Fate of Recreational Marijuana in 2020
Michael Aron | NJTV News | Politics
Senate president says there are not enough votes to get it done legislatively; governor shows little enthusiasm for putting it on the ballot
Lawmakers Advance Measures to Ease NJ Property Taxes
Colleen O'Dea | Budget
Bipartisan support in committee for a bill that could cost state more than $330 million annually in restored municipal aid; two other bills are more contentious
New Lottery Agreement Could Earn State $100M Over Coming Decade
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Public-employee pensions are real winners. They should see extra $10 million annually over next 10 years
Op-Ed: Regional Health Hubs, Piecing Together the Healthcare Puzzle
Gregory Paulson | Opinion
State legislators should formally recognize, and maintain the budget appropriation for, key ‘regional health hubs’
‘Green’ Group Helps NJ Fight Shoreline Erosion with Christmas Trees
Lauren Wanko | NJTV News | Energy & Environment
Thanks to American Littoral Society, local government, and enviro groups, donated holiday trees become a gift that keeps on giving

May 15, 2019

Part-Time Faculty at Rutgers Reaches ‘Groundbreaking’ Contract
Carly Sitrin | Education
Full membership yet to vote on agreement that gives pay increases, more job security, other benefits but no contractual access to healthcare
As State Coffers Swell, Lawmakers Resist Millionaire’s Tax
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Business tax levies are now running more than $750 million over projections, and income-tax trends are approaching original forecasts
New Jersey Seniors Get Healthier but They’re Not Exactly Fitness Fanatics
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
NJ ranks 21st among the states for the health of its older residents but only 42nd for seniors’ level of physical activity
Camden Residents Blast Tax Incentives — and Norcross
David Cruz | NJTV News | Budget
Citizens contend that not much has changed despite $1 billion in incentives for companies in the orbit of powerbroker George Norcross
Legislators re-evaluate standardized student testing
Joanna Gagis | NJTV News | Education
Lawmakers hear about possible next steps after court ruling that PARCC test is unconstitutional
OP-ED: A Call to Honor Alice Paul, NJ’s Overlooked Women’s Rights Crusader
Michael T. Bedard | Opinion
Activist from South Jersey should be among those from the Garden State enshrined at the US Capitol

May 14, 2019

Jersey City, Poster Child for What’s Wrong with School-Funding Reform?
Carly Sitrin and John Mooney | Education
The district says cuts to state aid mean teacher layoffs and canceled after-school programs, but some pols and advocates argue Jersey City has the means to end its budget shortfall
Will Murphy’s CV Deal a Death Blow to NJ’s Dark-Money Bill?
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Governor argues his conditional veto addresses ‘egregious loopholes’ in the legislation. Opponents claim it protects groups that contributed to his campaign
Singing in the Rain: NJ’s 1st Deposit to Rainy-Day Fund in Decade, Says Treasurer
John Reitmeyer | Budget
This year’s surging ‘April surprise’ in tax collections translates into $250 million tagged for Surplus Revenue Fund after years of running on empty
Pallone Aims for Complete Ban on Asbestos, Blocking New EPA Rule
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Environmental Protection Agency has OK’d limited use of the substance linked to deadly cancer; congressman says anything less than a full ban ‘unacceptable’
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