NJ Politics Digest: The High Rate of Infant Mortality for Blacks

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New Jersey’s rate of infant mortality is dropping, but black newborns still stand a far greater chance of dying than white children. Health officials in the state are planning to convene to examine the issue, according to this report by NJ101.5.

A shakeup in the leadership of the state Assembly appears to be coming down the pike, as this report by Observer’s Sal Rizzo details how little-known Democratic Assemblyman Craig Coughlin has gathered the votes to oust Speaker Vincent Prieto.

And while the Trump administration’s proposed budget contains a lot of bad news for New Jersey, one bright spot is that Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, an economic mainstay in the Ocean-Burlington area, has escaped the budget ax.

Quote of the Day: “We’re going to put the people of Central Jersey first.” – Assemblyman Jerry Green.

Coughlin Has the Votes for NJ Assembly Speaker
Assemblyman Craig Coughlin has the votes to become the next speaker of the state Assembly, he announced Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Republicans Not Likely to Save Prieto, Bramnick Says
Republican lawmakers will be sitting out the Democrats’ battle for the speakership of the state Assembly, Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Black babies in NJ dying at alarming rate — Rutgers conference looks for solutions
Over the past 10 years, New Jersey has seen an improvement in infant mortality rates, putting it third in the nation in that category. Despite the improvements overall, the latest data shows that black children born in the state are more than twice as likely to die in infancy than white children.
Adam Hochron, NJ101.5 Read more

New Jersey Town Used Zoning to Discriminate Against Islam
This is the chronicle of how a founding principle of this country, the freedom to worship, crashed into a public bureaucracy in the venerable and prosperous New Jersey suburb of Bernards Township.
Jim Dwyer, New York Times Read more

MacArthur Pushes Back on CBO; NJ Republicans Reject His Bill
One of the architects of the American Health Care Act, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), pushed back on a report issued Wednesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that said “less healthy people would face extremely high premiums” under his plan.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

N.J. public pension fund investments are having a good year
New Jersey’s public worker pension fund on Wednesday reported that investment returns have topped 10 percent for the first 10 months of the fiscal year that began in July.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Months into new system, attorney general toughens N.J. bail reform rules
Attorney General Christopher Porrino released new guidelines Wednesday for when prosecutors should seek to detain defendants before trial, a move that toughens New Jersey’s bail reform system just months after it went into effect.
Katherine Landergan, Politico Read more

N.J.’s Joint Base gets funding in Trump budget
Funding for hangars to house the new KC-46 refueling tankers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst were included in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Cooper hospital renames building in memory of John and Joyce Sheridan
The Sheridan Pavilion at Cooper University Health System in Camden is now officially named after the hospital’s former CEO John P. Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, who died under mysterious circumstances Sept. 28, 2014.
Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Read more

A.C. successfully sells bonds to fund Borgata settlement, and Christie takes credit
The state of New Jersey said it had successfully issued bonds to fund a $72 million dollar tax appeal settlement with Borgata.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Solicitor General to Supreme Court: New Jersey sports betting case not worth your while
In a recommendation that could be a fatal blow to the hopes of backers of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall on Wednesday told the U.S. Supreme Court that there was no need for the Justices to take up the case.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

N.J. gets $1M from Johnson & Johnson settlement after charges of misleading claims
New Jersey will get more than $1 million from a multi-state lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson that charged the company misrepresented the manufacturing practices behind Tylenol, Zyrtec, Benadryl and other popular over-the-counter drugs, the state’s attorney general announced Wednesday.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

NJ Transit gets $10M from feds for automatic speed control system
NJ Transit is getting $10 million from the federal government to help fund the installation of an automatic speed control system, the absence of which may have contributed to the September fatal crash in Hoboken Station.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

How NJ Gubernatorial Candidates Would Ease Fiscal Crisis
As might be expected, the Democratic and Republican candidates in this year’s gubernatorial primaries have very different views about how to solve the state’s biggest fiscal dilemmas. What might be less expected, however, are the differences and disagreements among candidates of the same party.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

TCNJ building that honored segregationist renamed Trenton Hall
The College of New Jersey has announced it is changing the name of its admissions building whose namesake was an ardent supporter of segregation.
Cristina Rojas, NJ.com Read more

Prieto, Sweeney: Separate Takes on Expanding Family Leave
Add expanded paid family leave to the list of issues that the leaders of New Jersey’s legislative houses are arguing about.
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight Read more

Christie joins ‘the face of hope’ at drug court graduation
Vanessa Vitolo, the Atlantic County woman who has been featured in Gov. Chris Christie’s marketing campaign to promote services for opioid addiction treatment, was joined by the governor on Wednesday to celebrate her graduation and that of 22 other participants from the state’s drug court program.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

East Rutherford woman tells congressman of her beating by Turkish security during DC protest
A Kurdish college student from East Rutherford told Rep. Bill Pascrell on Wednesday about being choked, thrown to the ground and kicked by what appeared to be Turkish security during what had been a peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Bill requires American Dream mall to install ‘bird friendly’ glass
The American Dream complex will have to be built with non-reflective glass to avoid collisions from the millions of birds who live and migrate through the Meadowlands under a bill recently introduced in Trenton.
Scott Fallon, The Record Read more

DeCroce sues Hank Lyon over suspected campaign finance breaches
State Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce on Wednesday sued Morris County Freeholder William “Hank” Lyon, charging that he is violating state election finance laws in his campaign to unseat her in the 26th legislative district in the June 6 GOP primary election.
Peggy Wright, Daily Record Read more

Ex-business partners now political rivals in GOP Senate primary
They were once business partners and good friends. But now, they are on opposite sides of a deep political divide, fighting in one of the most bitter primaries of this election season.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

EDITORIAL: Prieto reign as speaker nearing an end?
The bouncing political balls in Trenton appear ready to land in an unusual place, upon the head of Democratic Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, who is busily lining up support to oust Vincent Prieto as Assembly speaker.
Asbury Park Press Read more