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Explainer Guide

Explainer: Platinum Versus Gold Health-Insurance Plans for NJ Public Workers

Lilo H. Stainton | August 17, 2018 | Explainer

Bipartisan panel suggests going to less expensive health insurance could save taxpayers $1.4 billion within a few years

Explainer: How New Jersey’s Court-Approved Plans for Affordable Housing Work

Colleen O'Dea | August 16, 2018 | Explainer
NJ’s plans for affordable housing are blueprints that do not require municipalities to build a single home
Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About School Funding in NJ
Carly Sitrin | July 25, 2018 | 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?
Explainer: Here’s How the Governor Plans to Ease Property Taxes — a Bit
John Reitmeyer | March 22, 2018 | Explainer
While Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget proposal would give homeowners a bigger write-off, it would keep in place rules that hold down other relief programs
Explainer: Why Undocumented Immigrants in NJ Pay Taxes — a Lot of Taxes
Colleen O'Dea | February 13, 2018 | Explainer
According to recent estimates, New Jersey’s undocumented community paid $587 million in state and local taxes in 2014
Explainer: Making Sense of the Last-Minute Madness That Can Be the Lame Duck
Colleen O'Dea | December 20, 2017 | Explainer
Bills that are pending and in the works are just one part of the puzzle. Here’s a day-by-day guide to the Legislature’s and the governor’s final days
Explainer: Why NJ’s Cap on Raises for Cops and Firefighters Is Set to Expire
John Reitmeyer | September 12, 2017 | Explainer
So-called interest-arbitration awards hold salary increases that go to binding arbitration at 2 percent. What happens to local communities if they’re allowed to sunset?
Explainer: The Horizon Law that Helped Trigger a State Shutdown, up Close
Lilo H. Stainton | July 5, 2017 | Explainer
The law as enacted helps protect Horizon policyholders, a key element missing in earlier versions
Explainer: Decoding NJ’s Budget Babble — a Dictionary of Useful Terms
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff | June 9, 2017 | Explainer
Just in time for budget season, a cornucopia of helpful explanations and abstruse interpretations, from Appropriations Act to zero-based budgeting
Explainer: Why It’s So Tough to Get an NJ Liquor License — and What Can Be Done
Tara Nurin | May 8, 2017 | Explainer
The state’s liquor licenses are among the most expensive and restrictive in the nation. But that may be about to change.
Explainer: Trump Names Christie Chair of Opioid Task Force, Details Still Sparse
Lilo H. Stainton | April 4, 2017 | Explainer
Choice of governor praised, but critics say action and funding needed, not more study
Explainer: Sorting Through the State’s Property-Tax Relief Programs
John Reitmeyer | March 21, 2017 | Explainer
The bad news is that the amount of money available for property-tax relief is shrinking; the good news, there are still a plethora of programs and options available
Explainer: Tallying the Social Cost of Climate-Changing Carbon Dioxide
Rutgers Today | January 12, 2017 | Explainer
Knowing the social cost of carbon dioxide makes it possible to see how lowering emissions translates into the monetary benefits of implementing regulations
Explainer: Sanctuary Cities Now and in the Trump Era
Meir Rinde | December 13, 2016 | Explainer, Immigration
Sanctuary cities limit their cooperation with immigration authorities. What are their prospects — in New Jersey and elsewhere — under a Trump administration?
Explainer: What NJ Transit Must Do to Get Up to Speed with Safety Technology
Carly Sitrin | December 6, 2016 | Explainer
Some railroad companies have made good progress on the installation of federally required safety mechanisms, but NJ Transit has a lot of catching up to do
Explainer: How Electoral College Lets President Win with Minority of Votes
Colleen O'Dea | November 29, 2016 | Explainer, Elections 2016
The system can favor candidates who win a lot of states by small margins while losing big in some large ones
Explainer: Why Hudson River Tunnels Are So Badly Needed and so Long Delayed
Meir Rinde | November 8, 2016 | Explainer
Devastating commuter delays and economic hardship just might be avoided if construction of a pair of new tunnels under the Hudson gets going
Explainer: The Red Cross Slims Down in NJ, While National Criticism Continues
Tara Nurin | October 25, 2016 | Explainer
The Red Cross has been subject to complaints nationwide for its response to emergencies. But apart from criticism of its post-Sandy role, few in NJ are dissatisfied
Explainer: Open Enrollment for State Insurance, Medicare, Obamacare
Lilo H. Stainton | October 18, 2016 | Explainer
Policy holders have chance to examine new options, take advantage of subsidies under Affordable Care Act
Explainer: How NJ’s Public Libraries Are Faring in the Information Age
Carly Sitrin | September 27, 2016 | Explainer
The state’s libraries still come through with books, but patrons also can access digital media like music and ebooks, as well as share new technologies
Explainer: A Multitude of Paths for Legal Immigration to the United States
Meir Rinde | September 21, 2016 | Explainer
Some roads are like the interstate, fast and relatively direct, while others are far more circuitous and can take years to get to the destination
Explainer: The Mystery of New Jersey’s Statewide Water Supply Plan
Jon Hurdle | September 13, 2016 | Energy & Environment, Explainer
Supposedly vital to state and local planning, the blueprint should be updated and published every five years but it’s twenty years since that happened
Explainer: How New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Is Tied to Inflation Data
John Reitmeyer | September 6, 2016 | Explainer
Despite the governor’s veto of a minimum-wage hike, workers could still get a raise because the mimimum wage here is linked to the federal Consumer Price Index
Explainer: Effort to Encourage Doctor-Patient Conversations on Addiction
Lilo H. Stainton | August 9, 2016 | Explainer
Latest push focuses on young patients but must overcome Assembly opposition
Explainer: Alzheimer’s NJ Goes Solo But Still Offers Same Services
Lilo H. Stainton | July 26, 2016 | Explainer
Nonprofit split from national umbrella group because it feared losing control of assets and programs
Explainer: Constitutional Amendment Would Lock in Gas-Tax Revenue for TTF
John Reitmeyer | July 19, 2016 | Budget, Explainer
Governor and legislators may yet break deadlock over how to fund transportation projects, but voter agreement in November ballot is no slam dunk
Explainer: Who Is Helped by New Jersey’s Charity Care Program?
Lilo H. Stainton | July 5, 2016 | Healthcare, Explainer
Despite Medicaid expansion, there are some 1.1 million NJ residents -- including more than 100,00 kids under the age of 18 -- who have no health insurance
Explainer: What New Jersey’s Graduating Seniors Need to Know
Colleen O'Dea | June 28, 2016 | Explainer
Students who don’t pass or take the PARCC exams have a veritable alphabet soup of alternative tests, from ACT to PSAT/NMSQT -- and can also submit a portfolio of their work
Explainer: Separating Rubbish from Reality for NJ’s Recycling
Meir Rinde | June 21, 2016 | Explainer
Politics and economics combine to make it hard to keep waste out of the environment
Explainer: Pooling State and Federal Funds to Keep NJ’s Water Clean
Tom Johnson | June 14, 2016 | Explainer
The New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust leverages available money to make low-interest loans to finance clean-water projects
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