NJ Politics Digest: Tom MacArthur Prepares For Healthcare Fight, Round 2

Rep. Tom MacArthur in March heading into a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur continues to be a leader in Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP alternative. MacArthur has indicated that Republicans are preparing to try again to pass healthcare legislation, maybe as early as next week.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno, meanwhile, is tackling another vexing issue with a property tax plan she says will save most families hundreds of dollars. If she is elected to the state’s top office, Guadagno will have to get her plan through an opposition legislature, as even she admits that Republicans are unlikely to take control of the Assembly and Senate this year. Guadagno is set to unveil her plan just as a ratings agency has indicated the state’s economy is finally showing signs of improvement.

And, in a scene all too common in the state, an elected official — this time the ex-mayor of Passaic — is going to jail on corruption charges.

Quote of the Day: “It’s not dead. I spoke with the vice president and the (House) speaker over the weekend, and it’s moving,” – Rep. Tom MacArthur, on Republican efforts to pass new healthcare legislation

New Obamacare repeal vote could come next week, N.J. congressman discloses
U.S. Rep Tom MacArthur (R-3rd District) a key player in the effort to salvage Republican efforts to revamp health care, told NJ Advance Media Tuesday that a House vote to replace the Affordable Care Act with his proposed changes may come as early as next week.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Kim Guadagno vows to slash your N.J. property taxes, possibly as much as $3,000
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the early Republican front-runner for governor, told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday she would slash New Jersey’s notoriously high property taxes by up to $3,000 for homeowners who pay more than 5 percent of their household income on school taxes.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

N.J. avoids another credit downgrade as perky economy trumps ailing pension system
New Jersey’s economy is at last beginning to show solid improvement, providing a counterweight to its “woefully underfunded” pension system, according to Fitch Ratings, which on Tuesday left the state’s credit rating unchanged.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Keyport asked to use ACLU ‘model’ immigration rules
The American Civil Liberties Union wants members to convince local governments to adopt policies that ensure police departments defend immigrants regardless of legal status — and one person is taking the proposal to Keyport.
Steph Solis, Asbury Park Press Read more

Ex-Passaic mayor Alex Blanco gets 27 months in prison
The former mayor of Passaic, Alex D. Blanco, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison with three years of supervised relief for soliciting $110,000 in bribes from two developers hired by the city. The former mayor must also make restitution to the two developers involved in the case.
Richard Cowen and Kaitlyn Kanzler, The Record Read more

Guadagno: No chance Republicans win control of the Legislature this year
The Republican frontrunner for governor acknowledged on Tuesday something almost everyone in the state admits privately, but Republicans are hesitant to speak about publicly: the GOP is not taking back the Legislature this year.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

NJ grandpa gets deportation reprieve
A New Jersey grandfather facing potential deportation for being in the United States illegally has been given a reprieve.
Associated Press Read more

Highlands’ special deal cuts flood insurance costs
On the same night that Highlands, which was ravaged during superstorm Sandy, rejected a federal coastal protection project, the borough announced that FEMA was cutting the borough a break — a bonanza that could save businesses and homeowners thousands of dollars on flood insurance.
Russ Zimmer, Asbury Park Press Read more

Murphy pitches state bank to skeptical crowd: bankers
Phil Murphy, the leading Democratic candidate for governor who spent two decades on Wall Street, opened a Tuesday forum hosted by the state’s banking industry outlining a plan that has yet to be duplicated in the United States: a state-run bank focused on investing tax dollars in small businesses, student loans and infrastructure projects.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Environmental group asks court to block work on Pinelands pipeline until appeals are heard
Citing “imminent environmental harm,” the Pinelands Preservation Alliance on Tuesday asked the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court to block the start of construction of South Jersey Gas’ controversial pipeline through the Pinelands while the court considers several appeals against the project.
David O’Reilly, Inquirer Read more

Service launched to help N.J. veterans access care
The roughly 44,000 members of the military who live and work at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County, as well as some of the more than 400,000 veterans who live in New Jersey, could have an easier time accessing private-sector specialty medical services under a new program announced Tuesday.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

As Pols Dwadle Over School Funding, Here Are the Numbers
In his final year in office, Gov. Chris Christie set a deadline of early June for reaching a compromise with the Legislature about school funding — and offered to sit down with lawmakers to hammer out a compromise.
John Mooney, NJSpotlight Read more

Gottheimer talks economy in speech to business owners
Rep. Josh Gottheimer targeted “moocher” states and New Jersey’s difficult business climate at a Tax Day speech to business leaders.
Mark Krulish, The Record Read more

New A.C. master plan puts real life Monopoly Board in play
A state agency that controls zoning in nearly all of Atlantic City’s prime real estate has approved a new master plan that officials insist will finally loosen up land regulations that have stalled development.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Rep. Leonard Lance voices support for federal arts funding
With federal funding for the arts in jeopardy, the congressman who represents Millburn Township has voiced his support for the National Endowment for the Arts following a visit to the Paper Mill Playhouse to see how that money is being spent.
Harry Trumbore, The Record Read more

When you swallow sewage at the Shore, thank Trump
While we spend zillions on security at Mar-a-Lago and shuttling Trump children around the world and leaving Melania’s son in private school in Manhattan, the President is cutting money to check if we’re all swimming in fecal swamps.
Star-Ledger Read more