NJ Politics Digest: TTF Impasse Leads to Calls for Unemployment Benefits

It’s Tuesday, and in New Jersey, the fallout from Gov. Chris Christie’s freezing of road projects due to the Transportation Trust Fund impasse continues as a legislator seeks unemployment benefits for idled work crews. In south Jersey, a local council candidate is claiming offensive comments posted on Facebook were the result of his account being hacked, while the Star-Ledger reports on efforts to loosen regulations for medical marijuana. For these and other state political stories, read on.

Quote of the Day: “Unemployment is going to be a huge issue. Extending unemployment is a Band-aid, and one that I’m sure members will appreciate, but what they’d really appreciate is that we fix the TTF and put them back to work.” – Rob Lewandowski, spokesman Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Extend unemployment for N.J. road crews idled by Christie construction freeze
A Democratic state senator said he will introduce legislation extending unemployment benefits for workers sidelined by the statewide road construction shutdown.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Feds may have hard case to prove in Bridgegate trial
When the defendants enter the courtroom this month for the start of the Bridgegate trial, the odds will be stacked against them. Of the 203 men and women who have appeared on federal charges in New Jersey during the past six years, only 13 have been acquitted.
Paul Berger, Asbury Park Press Read more

S. Jersey GOP candidate blames hack for rape comments
A little-watched race for township council in West Deptford, N.J., has escalated into a social media war after a Daily Beast reporter called out one of her longtime trolls as a Republican candidate for local office.
Jessica Parks, Inquirer Read more

In N.J., Labor Day is about fight for pensions, min. wage, road work
For many Americans, Labor Day marks the end of summer, a day for backyard barbecues or one last trip down the Shore. For me, Labor Day is a day of reflection on the historic strides that the labor movement has made on behalf of American workers, and the challenges we still face in creating a better economy for all Americans.
Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Read more

Pot advocates petition Christie to allow medical marijuana for PTSD
Marijuana advocates petitioning Gov. Chris Christie to sign a bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of illnesses that would qualify a person for the state’s medical marijuana program have enlisted the help of nearly 18,000 people.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Then and now: Christie’s evolution on Trump’s wall Mexico will pay for
Gov. Chris Christie once ridiculed Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for suggesting Mexico would foot the bill for “a fabulous wall (and) an incredible wall.”
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

NJ tightens reins on emergency aid to the needy
A Mercer County woman had been navigating an abusive relationship for years. Her partner beat her on numerous occasions, but when the violence descended on their child, the woman left.
Payton Guion, Asbury Park Press Read more

Opinion: Christie hits NJ working class again
Gov. Chris Christie’s assault on the poor and the middle class continued last week with his announcement that he will pull New Jersey out of a tax agreement with Pennsylvania that’s been in place for nearly 40 years.
Asbury Park Press Read more