The Morning Digest: Friday, October 24, 2008

Witness: Ex- UMDNJ dean got no bonus for hiring Bryant

R. Michael Gallagher, the former medical school dean on trial on federal bribery charges, earned the same cash bonuses as his colleagues, and did not receive a windfall because he hired an influential senator who steered money to the school, according to testimony today from the federal corruption trial of Gallagher and former state Sen. Wayne Bryant. (Susan K. Livio, The Star-Ledger)

If Obama wins, he could call on Corzine

TRENTON — Though he still hasn’t convinced constituents of his Wall Street wizardry, Gov. Corzine has spent a lot of time in the national spotlight as a mouthpiece for Barack Obama’s economic policies. (Gannett)

Lautenberg, Zimmer face off over economy

EAST BRUNSWICK — Meeting his opponent for the first time in the campaign Thursday, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said he hasn’t been ducking Republican challenger Dick Zimmer and that New Jerseyans need only to look at the presidential nominees to make their U.S. Senate choices. (Gannett)

Assembly advances economic aid bills

TRENTON – With new data indicating that one in every 453 New Jersey homeowners is struggling to pay the mortgage, Assembly lawmakers yesterday advanced several measures that would provide economic relief to residents and businesses. (Associated Press)

Lautenberg widens lead to 16 points in N.J. poll

A new poll indicates Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg has widened his lead over Republican challenger Dick Zimmer. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Lawmakers pass bills regulating public educators’ pay

The state Senate today passed bills that would stop public school superintendents from giving themselves over-the-top severance packages and prevent educators from using “diploma mills” to get advanced degree that guarantee salary hikes. (Tom Hester, The Star-Ledger)

Reform bill scales back N.J. college scholarship program

A reform bill that would tighten academic standards and introduce income eligibility to the popular NJ STARS college scholarship program won initial approval today in Trenton. (Ana M. Alaya, The Star-Ledger)

State health insurance costs outpacing incomes

WASHINGTON — New Jersey families are seeing employer-sponsored health insurance eat up a much bigger slice of their paychecks though their earnings aren’t rising at nearly the same rate, a consumer group said Thursday. (Gannett)

1st District rivals focus on money, promises

The two major-party candidates in the 1st Congressional District used their time during a debate Thursday night to concentrate on specific points. (Pete McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

District 12 candidates split on taxes, energy and Iraq policy

LAWRENCE — A debate yesterday between the two major party candidates running for the 12th Congressional District seat highlighted their sharp differences on tax policy, energy strategy and withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. (Robert Stern, Trenton Times)

State agriculture secretary quitting

TRENTON — The state’s long-time agriculture secretary plans to submit a letter of resignation today, effective Dec. 31, a spokesman for Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Thursday night. (Gannett)

Bergen freeholder board subpoeaned

A subpoena was served to the Bergen County Custodian of Records today seeking documents related to the Freeholder Board. (PolitickerNJ)

Election about voting for good health

MILLVILLE – The voter grinned as she covered her ballot, hiding it from those standing in line behind her and peering over her shoulder. (Jason Laday, Bridgeton News)

One-third of Passaic County is Latino

One-third of all Passaic County residents are Latino, according to a Pew Hispanic Center study released Thursday. (Heather Appel, The Herald News)

Manzo suit gets first hearing tomorrow

The Jersey City political scene has been pretty quiet over the past month, with several potential mayoral candidates quietly positioning themselves for the election in May. But that could change tomorrow, when former Assemblyman Lou Manzo’s lawsuit that seeks to throw Mayor Jerramiah Healy out of office gets its first hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court. (PolitickerNJ)

Hurley retires from job as city director

Bob Hurley turned in his retirement papers Wednesday after seven years at the helm of the Jersey City Recreation Department. (Paul Koepp, Jersey Journal)

Senate votes to allow bowhunting on Sundays

The state Senate today approved a bill permitting bowhunters to pursue deer on Sundays, touting it as a way to reduce New Jersey’s booming whitetail population. (Brian T. Murray, The Star-Ledger)

The Morning Digest: Friday, October 24, 2008