Wake-Up Call: Monday, June 30, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

State budget to be signed today

Gov. Jon Corzine is expected today to sign a $32.9 billion state spending plan he calls "truly unprecedented" because it eliminates nearly $600 million from the previous year's outlays. (Joe Donohue, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/06/corzine_to_sign_329_b_budget.html

Zeitz to defend New Jersey for Obama

HAMILTON – At a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser in New York City on Thursday, Michelle Obama asked 4th Congressional District challenger Josh Zeitz if he thinks New Jersey will be a battleground for her husband.

Zeitz told the first lady prospect that New Jersey is safely Democratic territory. Then he added something specific about his own challenge of entrenched U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4). (PolitickerNJ)

http://politickernj.com/max/21148/zeitz-opens-campaign-hq-hamilton

Taking money from a dead ex-mayor

STAFFORD — The state Attorney General's Office is negotiating to reconcile more than $1.2 million in outstanding judgments and liens owed by the estate of former Mayor Wesley K. Bell. (Matt Pais, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/NEWS/806300357

New school chief ready for action

Clifford Janey, Newark's incoming superintendent of schools, carries a long résumé in urban education, from his hometown of
Boston to his most recent job in Washington, D.C.

Janey, who won accolades everywhere he worked, is described by many as good-humored, intelligent and deliberate, possessing unflagging confidence. (John Mooney, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1214800610260120.xml&coll=1

Unconventional campaigning

Murray SabrinIt's almost a month after the primary, but former Republican Senate primary candidate Murray Sabrin's unorthodox campaign continues to produce reverberations. (PolitickerNJ)

http://politickernj.com/matt-friedman/21146/sabrins-not-hogans-hero

All or nothing

New Jersey Republican congressional candidate Chris Myers is taking a leave of absence from the defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. for the duration of the campaign. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20080628_Chris_Myers_takes_leave_to_campaign.html

Property taxes key to budget

TRENTON — A key test for the $32.8 billion state budget adopted by New Jersey lawmakers may come in August.

That's when homeowners throughout the state typically begin receiving their property tax bills, seldom a pleasant experience with New Jersey having the nation's highest property taxes, at $6,800 per homeowner. (Associated Press)

http://www.nj.com/southjersey/index.ssf/2008/06/acid_test_of_nj_budget_will_be.html

Cops just don't grow on trees

TRENTON — After escaping similar plans in 2002 and 2006 that were ultimately scrapped from the final state budget, rural towns that rely on the New Jersey State Police for all or part of their police protection will have to start paying something for that service in January. (Lisa Gryboski, The Courier-Post)

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/NEWS01/806300345/1001/NEWS

Decriminalizing health care

When Mary Lindseywent to a job fair at Valley Hospital, she thought she was on her way to a decent job with benefits, after more than a decade as a home health attendant, earning $9.25 an hour without health insurance. (Heather Appel, The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/njpolitics/22704699.html

Corzine signs casino law

ATLANTIC CITY – A law signed yesterday will keep casinos open even if the state government shuts down.

Gov. Corzine signed a bill that permits Atlantic City's 11 gaming halls to temporarily police themselves without state inspectors if New Jersey fails to have a budget in place by July 1, as required by law. (Wayne Parry, Associated Press)

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20080628_N_J__law_ensures_casinos_will_stay_open.html

Desperate times call for desperate measures

The Jersey Shore for decades has been off-limits to companies that want to explore for oil and natural gas.

For good reason, many politicians in New Jersey say: An oil spill would be disastrous for the state's tourism economy. (Jessica Coomes, Gloucester County Times)

http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-3/121472523422050.xml&coll=8

Donovan engaged in tug-of-war

Bergen County Clerk Kathe Donovan is the county GOP's marquee attraction on the November ballot.

But Bob Yudin, the newly elected Republican party chairman, will not stand in her way if she abandons her reelection quest for a job on the Bergen County Superior Court. And he will not intercede, even though the idea is a strategic goal of Joe Ferriero, leader of the Bergen County Democrats. (Charles Stile, The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/politics/22576709.html

Free education program expands

"Let the wild rumpus start," said 5-year-old Jane Petit as she and a preschool mate played with cloth characters to act out scenes from Maurice Sendak's beloved children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are." (James W. Prado and Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press)

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/NEWS/806300354

Standing in the way of information

A part-time clerk in Somerset County, stung by an unprecedented $1,000 fine for willfully withholding public records last year, now has more than half a dozen new complaints filed against him by the town's recently retired police chief. (Ralph R. Ortega, The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/somerset/index.ssf?/base/news-3/121471535849320.xml&coll=1

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning. Wake-Up Call: Monday, June 30, 2008