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NJ Spotlight Daily News

April 12, 2019

Many Questions and Few Answers in Education Budget Hearing
John Mooney | Education
Education commissioner admits state is little closer to solving testing problems, finding increased aid for hardest-hit districts
Is the Federal SALT Cap Putting NJ Residents on the Road to Other States?
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Some anecdotal evidence suggests more New Jerseyans are moving out of state, but independent fiscal analysts say there’s no sign of an outmigration exodus
Lawsuit Challenges Gender Designation Rule in Party Committee Elections
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
The one-male/one female rule for each district was an attempt to ensure that women could play a role in politics
AG Announces Initiatives to Strengthen Confidence in Justice System
Briana Vannozzi | NJTV News | More Issues
One new unit will review convictions of those who claim innocence; a second will tackle unsolved crimes
NJ Transit Promises Improvements after Fiasco at MetLife Stadium
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Transportation
The agency is still taking heat for the botch last weekend that left crowds of wrestling fans waiting hours in the rain for trains
Op-Ed: Congress Must Save Program that Eases Access to Integrated Care
Joe Masciandaro | Opinion
Funding for a key program that aids access to community-based behavioral health and addiction services is set to end soon, unless Congress acts

April 11, 2019

NYC’s New Policy on Measles Vaccine Prompts Renewed Focus in NJ
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
There have been far fewer cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease in Garden State; health officials here continue to promote vaccinations
Will New Energy Master Plan Make Fossil Fuel a Dinosaur in New Jersey?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Murphy and BPU president Fiordaliso play it cagey when answering questions about the role of fossil fuel in governor’s clean-energy agenda
Budget Committee Grills SDA Head on Spending — and Hiring and Firing
John Mooney | Education
Embattled executive director of Schools Development Authority defers answering most questions, saying situation is under review by counsel
Poll: Where Do You Stand on Rutgers’ Strike — Pro Profs or Administration?
A walkout seems imminent, but the issues are complex, and include pay-equity for female faculty and possible damage to the university’s reputation
Op-Ed: We Must Defend Our Rivers and Streams from the EPA
Sandra Meola | Opinion
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rule changes that would significantly weaken protections for our waterways

April 10, 2019

Rutgers Teetering on the Edge of Major Faculty Strike
Carly Sitrin | Education, The Booker Beat
Students, faculty, union members, and national organizations come together in final show of solidarity outside Newark campus center
New Jersey Gives Hate and Hate Crimes Fewer Places to Hide
Colleen O'Dea | Social
Attorney general’s office releases new guidelines for handling bias crimes, calls on Facebook to monitor Ocean County group ‘inciting violence against Orthodox Jews’
State Budget Funding for Hospitals to Hold Steady but Individual Impacts Vary
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
While the overall allocation remains the same, some facilities are set to receive more than this year and some less
New Jersey Progressives Lambaste Economic Development Authority
David Cruz | NJTV News | Politics
Call for board, comprising numerous holdovers from prior administration, to resign en masse
Murphy Announces Offshore-Wind Registry to Pair Investors, Companies
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Businesses commend New Jersey’s push to increase reliance on renewables like wind and solar
NJ’s New Bail Program in Financial Bind: Judiciary Wants State Funding
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Budget committee hears that without a long-term fix for pretrial system’s financing, ‘judiciary will be forced to take cost-cutting measures’
Opinion: Outlook is Bleak for Republican Party in NJ
Carl Golden | Opinion
The trend in voter registration suggests the GOP will stay mired in perpetual minority party status

April 9, 2019

Cheers — and Some Caution — for Reclassification of NJ’s Rivers and Streams
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Conservationists extol plan to upgrade hundreds of miles of waterways with new protections. Business interests question the decision
CDC Says NJ Has Third-Most Hospitalizations with Drug-Resistant Fungus
Jon Hurdle | Healthcare
The organism, little known as recently as two years ago, poses a risk to those with compromised immune systems or other existing illnesses, health officials say
Explainer: A Look Under the Hood of NJ’s Income Tax and Its Special Quirks
John Reitmeyer | Explainer
Rules that hew to the state constitution limit the uses of the state’s biggest source of revenue to items that lower property taxes
Pay-to-play Filings for 2018 Show Dip in Contributions by Contractors
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Report shows more than 1,900 companies that did business with state, county, municipal and other public entities in 2018 made $9M+ in political contributions
Murphy Announces More Support for Sandy Families Not Yet in Their Homes
Michael Aron | NJTV News | Housing
Cap on federal grants eliminated; additional 19 months of federally funded rental assistance
Op-Ed: State Plan for Higher Education Needs Sharper Focus
Darryl G. Greer | Opinion
Although on target with its ‘student-centered’ approach, Murphy administration’s new vision lacks key specifics
Murphy Slams NJ Transit Explanation for Stranding Wrestling Fans
David Cruz | NJTV News | Transportation
Transit agency said event at MetLife Stadium ran way over schedule; governor calls that response ‘dog-ate-my homework unacceptable’

April 8, 2019

Clean Water Projects: DEP Agrees Additional State Funding Needed
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The necessity for water infrastructure improvements in New Jersey is expected to outpace available financing
Middlesex County Democrats Try to Overturn ‘Outdated’ Gender Rule
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
The county, like some others, still requires voters to choose one male and one female for county party committees. Critic calls it ‘classic’ sex and gender discrimination
New Scrutiny of Longtime Income Cap on NJ Seniors’ Property-Tax Relief
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Governor’s budget plan keeps lid on income eligibility for the ‘senior freeze’ program. But, amid concerns over outmigration, lawmakers may seek adjustment
Revenue from Gas Tax Down, NJ Looks at Alternative
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Transportation
Gas tax could be in for a hike, but New Jersey and several other states consider a mileage fee instead of a fee on gas consumption
Murphy’s Budget Would Impose New Tax on Opioid Manufacturers
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
New Jersey is among a growing number of states looking to makers and distributors of highly addictive medicines for extra revenue to help fight opioid epidemic
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