Morning News Digest: Monday, December 29, 2008

State's newest congressmen eager to get to work on economy

For Leonard Lance and John Adler, the move from Trenton to Washington can't come soon enough. (Claire Heininger, Star-Ledger)

Films about Hudson's election day to debut online

As canvassers stood by PATH stations, pollsters worked booths and Americans voted, Ryn Melberg and Jason Maurer took it all in on camera. (Lisa Zimmerman, The Jersey Journal)

Once reviled in NJ, Lincoln to get star treatment

A politician once reviled in New Jersey is about to get a much warmer reception. Gov. Jon S. Corzine has created a commission to arrange events honoring Abraham Lincoln in February, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. (Associated Press)

Corzine to make budget changes

It's a bad sign when mild-mannered nonpartisan legislative analysts start measuring the depth of the state's budget problems by how many decades back you have to look to find similar distress. (Michael Symons, Gannett State Bureau)

Bill seeks to improve safety for teen drivers

Every school has a Kyleigh D'Alessio. The girl who is pretty, smart and athletic, yet so down to earth that no classmate can resent her; the parent's dream who seems to glide through the often-awkward teenage years. (Mike Frassinelli, Star-Ledger)

County boards eye federal aid for roads, rails

The possibility of a national economic stimulus program, which could pump millions of federal dollars into local highway improvements and other infrastructure projects, has prompted Monmouth County officials to cancel planned budget cuts for transportation lobbyists. Officials said it's part of a strategy designed to lure more of the federal dollars here. (Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press)

Baptist ministers back Smith as ‘best to lead'

Jersey City mayoral candidate L. Harvey Smith, a state assemblyman, has received his first endorsement, from a group of black clergy who call themselves the "Baptist Ministers Conference of Hudson County." (Earl Morgan, The Jersey Journal)

N.J.'s energy assistance to reach more residents

Gov. Jon S. Corzine has announced that $58 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program benefits will be distributed to more than 103,875 households in New Jersey.

State paid $89.2M to law firms with political ties

The state has spent $89.2 million to outsource legal work in the last four years with most of the work going to large firms with political connections, although officials insist that the basis for awarding the contracts is the law firm's expertise in various areas. (Linda Stein, The Times of Trenton)

Lawmaker: Put NJ financial data on Web site

One Republican lawmaker wants to make it easier for taxpayers to follow the money. (Associated Press) Morning News Digest: Monday, December 29, 2008