NJ Politics Digest: Drivers Getting Some Tech Help With State Road Test

It’s Thursday, and as the Bridgegate trial approaches its opening arguments, a court has opted to protect the identities of those who might have conspired in the George Washington Bridge scandal but have avoided indictment. The trial judge has ruled that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop can testify during the trial about alleged retribution visited upon him for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election bid.
In good news for drivers, state regulations now allow some technology, such as backup cameras, to be used during road tests. And with New Jersey residents who work in Philadelphia now facing a tax hike, the Inquirer takes a look at how Christie’s decision to use the tax hike as a weapon in the fight to reduce state public employee benefit costs might impact Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney. For this and the rest of the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “In a few years, every new car will be required to have a rear-view camera. If every car is going to have them, new drivers should know how to use them.” Senator Christopher Bateman, a sponsor of a bill to allow such technology to be used in driving tests

Court keeps GWB ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ list secret
A list of people who conspired to shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge but were not indicted will remain secret, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Jersey City Mayor Fulop’s testimony will be allowed in Bridgegate trial
Over a defense attorney’s objections, evidence that Jersey City’s mayor Steven Fulop faced retaliation for not endorsing Governor Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign will be allowed in the Bridgegate trial
Paul Berger, The Record Read more

Christie taking a wrecking ball to ‘outdated’ state office buildings in Trenton
Gov. Chris Christie unveiled plans Wednesday to demolish a trio of state office buildings and relocate them within blocks of the Statehouse to pave the way for private development in the state’s capital city.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

NJEA, Christie administration scrap in court over public retiree health care change
A Superior Court judge is expected to decide Monday whether to order members of the state’s powerful teachers’ union in a dispute with Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to give up its boycott of meetings setting health care benefits for public employees.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

NJ Driving Test Just Got Easier
New Jersey residents taking their driving test can now use backup cameras, as well as parking sensors, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
Craig Turpin, NJ.com Read more

Gov. Christie hems in Senate president by ending income tax agreement with Pa.
Gov. Christie has long benefited from his relationship with Senate President Stephen Sweeney: It was crucial to enacting much of his first-term agenda, including an overhaul of the state pension system and teacher tenure, which boosted the governor’s national profile.
Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Read more

Christie prey Rubio taps NJ help in new bid
Former presidential candidate Marco Rubio is returning to the Colts Neck home of Juan and Marta Gutierrez for a fundraising event, but this time it’s for Rubio’s campaign to win reelection as a U.S. senator from Florida.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Tom Kean to head new panel exploring post-9/11 world
Former Gov. Tom Kean is getting back to the job of studying international terrorism — and especially how America can fight it more effectively.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

Josh Gottheimer secures support of former Sen. Joe Lieberman
Fifth District congressional hopeful Josh Gottheimer on Wednesday sought to position himself as a candidate who can reach across party lines to find consensus in a divided Congress and in doing so, secured the support of former U.S. senator Joe Lieberman.
Mary Diduch, The Record Read more

Top Rutgers administrator is stepping down
One of Rutgers University’s top administrators is stepping down.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

As Monmouth Park teeters, horsemen, politicos are divided
With Election Day rapidly approaching, horsemen and politicians in Central Jersey are divided over a referendum that might just be Monmouth Park and the thoroughbred industry’s best chance for survival.
Stephen Edelson, Asbury Park Press Read more

Morris County Democrats on mission to ‘Dump Trump’
More than 120 Morris County Democrats gathered for an evening pep rally where they vowed to capture local, county and state political seats in the Nov. 8 general election and persuade voters to “dump Trump” and cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Menendez: Ban all commercial flights to Cuba
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a fierce critic of President Barack Obama’s actions to restore relations with Cuba, introduced legislation Tuesday to ban all commercial flights between the two nations.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. political fight could cost workers in Canada and North Dakota their jobs
The effects of New Jersey’s transportation funding crisis are being felt in Canada and the Midwest, where a bus manufacturer may have to lay off workers after an NJ Transit order for more than 1,200 commuter buses was put on hold.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Ridgewood village manager resigns, citing ‘contentious’ work environment
Former village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld said she was forced from her office Tuesday by Mayor Susan Knudsen after she sent a resignation letter to the governing body citing an “increasingly contentious” work environment as the reason for her departure.
Steve Janoski, The Record Read more

Why people don’t trust politicians, in one Chris Christie interview
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) support for Donald Trump has always been a bit awkward — not because of what he says now, but because of what he had to say just a few months ago (as catalogued here).
Aaron Blake, Washington Post Read more