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There’s a move to include mental health education as early as kindergarten in New Jersey’s schools. Read more.

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TRENTON — So how did Massachusetts create millions of dollars of additional revenue and plenty of new jobs? It simply followed a grand New Jersey idea that allows supermarkets to have more liquor licenses. Great news for Massachusetts; bad news for New Jersey, which never actually adopted its very own plan. NJ Biz tells the story of how Massachusetts is thriving with millions more in economic activity and millions more in alcohol excise-tax revenue since that state updated its antiquated liquor laws in 2012. That exact same proposal is still stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.
NJ Spotlight Daily News

March 20, 2019

SCI Probe Raises Questions About State Oversight of Hospitals
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
NJ’s watchdog agency finds complex web of corporate and financial ties in entities connected to three for-profit hospitals in Hudson County
Group May Head Back to Court over Lack of NJ School Desegregation
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Social
A lawsuit filed last year claims residency rules are to blame for lack of diversity in New Jersey public education
Assembly Panel Approves Latest Version of Waterfront-access Bill
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Way is now cleared for full vote on compromise measure bolstering public access to beaches and other waterfront areas
Opinion: Trump Budget Would Hit NJ Hard, But That’s Not Going to Happen
Richard F. Keevey | Opinion
The real power in the federal budgetary process lies with the appropriation committees. And it’s a good bet that Democrats and Republicans will find a way to compromise
Pascrell Tries to End Big Tax Break for Wealthy Investment Managers
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Proposed legislation would change how federal government treats ‘carried interest.’ Congressman says no place for a ‘parallel tax code’ for the rich
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March 19, 2019

Senate and Assembly Committees Vote Out Bill Legalizing Marijuana
Carly Sitrin | Politics
Measure could come to floor vote next week, but some pols disturbed over irregularities during hearings, raise concerns about ‘good governing’
Dark-Money Bill Advances, Sans Requirement for Retroactive Reporting
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Is New Jersey actually close to legislation that would require all groups that engage in electioneering and lobbying disclose major donors?
Communities Get the OK to Assess Fees to Fund Stormwater Utilities
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Opponents of new charges dismiss them as ‘rain tax,’ but advocates argue utilities will finally make it possible to address runoff, state’s biggest source of water pollution
Pallone Promotes Generic Drugs to Curb Rising Cost of Prescription Meds
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Proposals are aimed at easing development of generic medications, reducing protection of brand-name patents, and improving transparency of drug development process
Scheduling Boat Traffic to Keep Unreliable Portal Bridge Closed at Rush Hour
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Transportation
If there are no big boats passing through swing bridge during peak train traffic, there’s no need to open the portal — and risk it getting stuck in the open position
Attorney General Announces First Arrests of ‘Ghost Gun’ Traffickers
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | More Issues
The weapons allegedly were built and trafficked by four Camden County men who were caught in ‘Operation Stone Wall,’ a yearlong sting
Trenton Seeks $10M a Year to Offset Revenue Lost on Tax-Exempt State Buildings
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Measure to reinstate ‘Trenton Capital City Aid’ clears Senate committee, looks to have the backing of Murphy administration
Op-Ed: Better Child Care Options Will Benefit Both Parents and Employers
Hugh Welsh & Brigadier General Douglas Satterfield, U.S. Army (Ret.) | Opinion
Calling on state lawmakers to address the critical lack of affordable, high-quality child care in New Jersey

March 18, 2019

Compromise Plan to Boost Oversight of Public-Worker Health Benefits
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Appointment of independent monitor would allow for ongoing, regular auditing of billions that state pays annually for claims — Sen. Sarlo
The Big Challenge for NJ’s Clean Energy: Juggling All the Moving Parts
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Roundtables
NJ Spotlight roundtable is told climate change will be the big driver of changes in how energy is applied, delivered and used in the state and elsewhere
The Provocative Millionaire’s Tax: Its Potential (and Past) in NJ
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Gov. Phil Murphy’s determination to try again for a true millionaire’s tax could make budget negotiations with fellow Democrats difficult. How many of them know the origin of his plan?
New Jersey: The Gold Standard of State Cannabis Policy
Kelli Arthur Hykes | Sponsored Content
Praise for lawmakers’ comprehensive approach and for building a legislative framework ‘that is sensitive to both local government and community needs’
Low-Speed Electric Bikes Get Go-Ahead from NJ Lawmakers
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
Current state regulations are not up to speed with e-bikes, causing confusion for some police departments
Op-Ed: Here Comes the Sun for Less Money than You Thought
Barbara Blumenthal | Opinion
With the cost of renewable energy sources continuing to decline, New Jersey will benefit — but it needs to get a couple of things right first

March 15, 2019

Spelling Out How School Funding Formula Needs to Be Overhauled
Carly Sitrin | Education
New report says so many things have changed since formula was created a decade ago that big adjustments are needed, including more money for special education
Considering Safe-Injection Sites to Blunt Impact of Opioid Epidemic
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Opposition expected, but proponents see an effective antidote to the ‘staggering’ toll taken by illegal use of narcotics
PSEG Disputes New Estimate of Nuclear Profits, Awaits Answer on State Subsidies
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Independent market monitor concludes that South Jersey plants, for which company is seeking $300 million in annual state aid, will net big profits over the next few years
Sweeney, Murphy Deal to End Showdown Over Homeless Aid
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Accord paves way for needy New Jerseyans to get additional emergency housing assistance, and spares governor a veto override
State Budget for 2020: Now It’s the Public’s Turn to Weigh In
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Four legislative hearings on Gov. Phil Murphy’s $38.6B spending plan for the coming fiscal year will be held over the next two weeks
Are Camden’s Millions in Tax Incentives Benefiting Residents?
Michael Hill | NJTV News | Budget
In poor city, praise for the economic opportunity the incentives spur, but some have doubts
Op-Ed: NJ’s Pensions Are Not Expensive, So Let’s Stop Pretending They Are
Brian Rock | Opinion
The state has to be serious about paying the debt that it owes, and this might require some tough choices
Defining the Diploma: A Roundtable on High School Graduation Issues
NJ Spotlight | Podcasts, Roundtables
Commissioner Repollet and high school principals talk about the move away from PARCC and other central questions concerning graduation in NJ

March 14, 2019

Small Price Blip for ACE Customers as BPU Eyes $12B in Rate Increases All Told
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Garden State utilities are modernizing the power grid, boosting energy efficiency, looking to roll out electric vehicles — and racking up a sizable tab for their customers
Mental Health Education Starting in Kindergarten?
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
State lawmakers to vote today on measures that would require school curriculum to include age-appropriate lessons on mental health
Even at $90M, Lobbyist Spending in 2018 Dips to Lowest Level in Four Years
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
More than 950 outfits filed lobbying reports with Election Law Enforcement Commission, but public still has no window into spending at local level
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