NJ Politics Digest: Sales Tax Cut Back on The Table in Trenton

It’s Tuesday, and the news in Trenton is additional talks on solving the Transportation Trust Fund stalemate by cutting the sales tax, a move to provide more protections to sexual assault victims and efforts to strengthen gun control measures.
The trial for the alleged George Washington Bridge conspirators is in jury selection, a proponent of north Jersey casinos lays out some information and the Christie administration and the NJEA will meet to discuss proposed changes to retiree health care plans. For this, and the rest of the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “I’ve spoken to a number of criminal defense attorneys who’ve said that it won’t hold muster,” he continued. “If you put a person on a screen as opposed to a court room, the jury could feel that the person (the victim) has to be protected. That could add an element to the case that might make it unconstitutional.” – Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-North Bergen, on bill allowing sex crime victims of any age to testify via video camera.

Sweeney moves to cut Christie out of N.J. school aid talks
fter months of promoting dueling plans to revise New Jersey’s school funding formula, Senate President Stephen Sweeney could be limiting Gov. Chris Christie’s influence over discussions about school aid.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

Christie, NJEA agree to meet about changes in health care for retirees
In a victory of sorts for the New Jersey Education Association, the teachers union and Gov. Chris Christie’s administration agreed to hold an information-only meeting on proposed changes to retiree health care.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Hearing set for N.J. bill to ban possession of new armor piercing bullet
Bills that would ban possession of an armor piercing bullets, enhance school security and allow striking workers in some cases to collected unemployment benefits advanced in Legislative committee hearings on Monday.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Sales Tax Cut Back on The Table
Gov. Chris Christie and some Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Legislature are again in talks to cut the state sales tax as the linchpin to a deal that would restore funding to the now-depleted Transportation Trust Fund, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Jury pool cut in half for GWB case
A judge Monday cut the jury pool nearly in half for the upcoming trial of two former allies of Governor Christie accused of causing gridlock at the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee’s mayor.
Peter J. Sampson, Daily Record Read more

Legislator seeks to clarify sources of North Jersey casino revenues
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, on Monday announced plans to introduce a measure on Thursday that he said ‘will explicitly detail how state funding derived from casinos in the northern part of the state will be used, including aid to senior programs such as Senior Freeze, Meals on Wheels and PAAD (Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled), funding for public space and transportation improvements and support for Atlantic City recovery initiatives.’
John Brennan, The Record Read more

Booker sets Twitter to stun in Star Trek vs. Star Wars battle
So who is cooler Han Solo or James T. Kirk?
As Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker engaged in a skirmish with a fellow Democratic lawmaker.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

New Jersey left with just two Obamacare health providers for 2017
Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey, one of few remaining consumer-operated health plans created through the Affordable Care Act, will not offer coverage in 2017, leaving the state with just two insurers selling plans through healthcare.gov, officials from the state Department of Banking and Insurance said Monday.
Lindy Washburn, The Record Read more

Camden Diocese will suspend players who don’t stand for anthem
The Diocese of Camden told its schools in an early-September letter that any player who opted not to stand for the national anthem would be subject to suspension.
Bill Evans, NJ Advance Media Read more

N.J. report raises new concern over growing scrap-tire piles
Large and illicit heaps of discarded tires are reappearing around New Jersey, a state auditor’s study has found, and the report is urging a renewed effort to “monitor, identify, and remediate” them.
David O’Reilly, Inquirer Read more

Asking job applicants’ previous salaries could soon be illegal in New Jersey
Following Massachusetts’ lead, two New Jersey Assembly members have put forward a bill that would bar employers from asking about job applicants’ previous salaries.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Commuter tax could boost NJ credit rating
New Jersey’s battered credit rating may get a boost from Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to end a tax reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania – but the change will mean higher taxes for many of the 120,000 New Jerseyans who work in the Keystone State.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Q&A With Tom Kean
For the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, former Gov. Thomas Kean and former U.S. Sen. Lee Hamilton — the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission — last week announced they would redouble their commitment with a new national effort.
John Mooney, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. Senate committee approves new state treasurer
Governor Christie’s nominee to be state treasurer cleared his first hurdle at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday – but no one asked him about the governor’s plan to raise income tax rates for thousands of state residents who commute to Pennsylvania.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Trial opens on fraud allegation in contested Paterson council election
A trial began Monday in Paterson in which a former city councilman alleges that Councilman Shahin Khalique won his seat in the May elections through widespread voter fraud.
Kibret Markos, The Record Read more

U.S. House votes to allow consumers to rate businesses without retaliation
Didn’t get the product you ordered from a retailer? Found the restaurant’s food inedible? Experienced terrible service at the hotel?
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Opinion: Sweeney’s smart end-around on school funding
Senate President Steve Sweeney doesn’t want to wait around until Gov. Chris Christie’s out of office to do something about New Jersey’s school funding problem. So he’s hatching a way around the governor’s objections to push forward his own idea to create a special commission to develop a new funding plan.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Opinion: Christie’s emails
There’s a saying about stone-throwing and glass houses. Governor Christie appears not to have heard it, because while he has criticized Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server and account for government business, he was mixing his government and public email accounts as well.
The Record Read more