PolitickerNJ News Digest: June 30th

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It’s Thursday, and in the senate there’s still no agreement on how to raise revenue for the state Transportation Trust Fund.

Quote of the Day: “No ‘fix’ for the TTF should exacerbate our state’s biggest problem: New Jersey’s nation-leading tax burden. There is time to craft an alternative proposal that protects our taxpayers, finds cost-savings and efficiencies for the nation’s most expensive roads, and allows adequate funding for the TTF,” – Assemblyman Jay Webber, voicing his opposition to a plan to raise the state gas tax by 23 cents paired with a promise to eventually reduce the state sales tax by 1 percent.

Legislative Preview: June 30

Tomorrow is a session day for the state Senate and Assembly, and the backstage machinations over two competing bills to fund the Transportation Trust Fund through a gas tax will continue.
PolitickerNJ Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Assembly TTF Bill Draws Criticism from Progressives and Business Groups Alike

Following Monday’s surprise compromise between Governor Chris Christie and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) on a deal to fund the Transportation Trust Fund, that new legislation is drawing heavy criticism from from the legislature’s progressive wing and business groups alike.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie Confident Senate will Get on Board with Sales Tax Cut/Gas Hike Plan

Oratorically bear-hugging newfound friends in the people’s house and playfully swatting at the lordly lagging of the senate, Gov. Chris Christie said he wasn’t particularly thrilled to back a 23-cent tax increase to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) but celebrated a one percent sales tax cut while leaning on senators to follow the example of the assembly.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Despite TTF Woes, Sweeney Crusades for School Funding in North Jersey

As the battle rages on in Trenton over the Transportation Trust Fund, Senate President Steve Sweeney has been heavily campaigning this week in northern New Jersey for his plan to grant all school districts in New Jersey 100 percent funding. Sweeney’s plan—which he is working on closely with state Senator Teresa Ruiz—is a reaction to a plan put forth by Governor Chris Christie to grant all of New Jersey’s school’s a $6,599 per student flat rate of state aid regardless of income-based need or higher proportions of students requiring special services.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

24 Progressive Groups Send Letter to Senate Opposing the Sales Tax Deal

Today, 24 groups who advocate for low and middle income New Jerseyans sent a letter to the members of the New Jersey Senate opposing Governor Chris Christie’s and the Assembly’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF)/ sales tax deal.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Webber to Christie: ‘Scrap this Raw Deal’

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) was among the 22 nay votes on the gas tax hike for sales tax reduction swap vote Monday night. Today, he offered his full explanation for why he believes the assembly and Governor Chris Christie erred.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s Case for Tax Fairness

Gov. Chris Christie took his own case for a TTF funding plan – which includes a 23 cent gas tax hike and a reduction of the state sales tax by 1% – to the voters.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Atlantic City Council President Announces Plan to Cut Two Council Seats

The president of Atlantic City’s city council announced Wednesday that he will ask for approval to cut two at-large city council seats in a bid to save the save the city money. The move, which would need the approval of city council, both houses of the legislature and the governor, would then be put to a referendum vote this November.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Former Code Inspector Perkins Slapped with Bribery Indictment

A former electrical code inspector for Lakewood Township ate an indictment today for allegedly accepting bribes from contractors in exchange for preferential treatment in the form of scheduling and conducting inspections more quickly or, in at least one instance, approving work that was not actually inspected, according to Acting Attorney General Chris Porrino.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s plan to cut sales tax, raise gas tax may not get votes needed in Senate

Resistant state senators from both parties may not cast the final votes needed Thursday on Governor Christie’s plan to cut the sales tax and raise the gas tax, setting up yet another political staring contest over state spending.
Salvador Rizzo and Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Law Firm Says It Returned Phone to Christie

The mystery surrounding Governor Christie’s personal cell phone deepened Tuesday night when lawyers for the Governor’s office said they returned the phone to him after searching it for evidence related to the politically-motivated closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Christie on the defense as his gas and sales tax plan faces failure

Facing the possibility that a proposed gas-tax-increase-for-sales-tax-decrease proposal he brokered with the Assembly could go up in flames, Gov. Chris Christie made his case for the deal Wednesday.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Big tax cut came from out of the blue

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto was in a big hurry Monday night, shuttling from one closed-door meeting to another, carrying a historic $1.4 billion cut to New Jersey’s sales tax stuffed in his pocket.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

City Council president wants to discuss taking ‘no confidence’ vote on Paterson mayor

City Council President William McKoy said his colleagues should hold a public discussion on whether to take a “no confidence” vote on Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres over the allegations he used municipal employees for personal tasks.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

N.J. congresswoman proposes stiffer federal reviews of new pipelines

U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D., N.J.), joined by opponents of the PennEast natural-gas pipeline, said Wednesday that she would introduce legislation to require federal regulators to analyze proposed new pipelines more critically, including consideration of “less environmentally disruptive alternatives.”
Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Read more

Bridgegate Hidden Evidence

This is what is missing from the federal investigation into Bridgegate:
The cell phone in Gov. Chris Christie’s pocket during the 2013 George Washington lane closures.
Matt Katz, NJSpotlight Read more