Morning News Digest: June 12, 2009

Lawmakers to pass N.J. budget eliminating property tax rebates, increasing taxes for some

Lawmakers are on schedule to pass a state budget next week that would eliminate property tax rebates for many residents while increasing taxes for some, all to deal with huge shortfalls in revenues. (Reitmeyer, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Assembly committee approves third reviewer for Blue Cross Blue Shield for-profit shift

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield's effort to convert to a publicly traded company would face a new level of scrutiny under a bill that cleared an Assembly committee today. (Livio, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. gov candidate Chris Christie taps Assemblyman Jay Webber to head N.J. GOP

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie today named a conservative Morris County assemblyman as state party chairman, seeking to galvanize a New Jersey GOP that has lost every statewide race since 1997 and is fresh from a competitive primary. (Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Senate moves measure to control Lt. Gov. campaign funds

A bill to regulate campaign finances for New Jersey's lieutenant governors is heading to a Senate vote after lawmakers released it from a committee today. (Young, The Star-Ledger)

Astronaut from Edison plans to Twitter from space this weekend

A NASA astronaut from Edison plans to use to stay in touch this weekend as he leads a space-shuttle mission to the international space station, according to a report on (Tbe Star-Ledger)

Democrats rush to Corzine as numbers drop, poll shows

With new poll numbers showing him slipping farther behind Christopher Christie, Governor Corzine got a boost Wednesday from Washington Democrats who tore into the Republican challenger over his conduct as U.S. attorney and stance on federal stimulus money. (Heininger, The Record)

Lawmakers on schedule to pass new state budget

Lawmakers are on schedule to pass a new state budget next week that will eliminate property tax rebates for many residents while hiking taxes, all to deal with huge shortfalls in revenues. (Reitmeyer, The Record)

Ex-Democratic chief seeks charges' dismissal

Attorneys for former Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero are asking a federal judge to dismiss the indictment against him, arguing the government's theory of the crime has no basis in law or fact and amounts to an "unprecedented expansion" of the honest services mail fraud statute. (Sampson, The Record)

Court upholds Paulsboro officer's termination

A state appeal's court ruled Thursday that Paulsboro was justified in its attempt to terminate an officer, who has since been named the officer in charge in another Gloucester County community. (McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

Rowan cutting 15 posts to save $2M

Fifteen managerial positions will be eliminated from Rowan University, the board of trustees has decided. (Driscoll, Gloucester County Times)

N.J. accuses travel firms of cheating customers

Dreams of exotic vacations turned into nightmares for hundreds of people who authorities say paid thousands to several Garden State travel firms and received nothing. (Boyer, Inquirer)

Lawmakers put finishing touches on budget plan

New Jersey lawmakers expected to introduce a new state budget late last night in the hope of approving the spending plan next week, according to Senate and Assembly officials. (Tamari, Inquirer)

Lockout ends at NJ hospital, but no deal yet

A New Jersey hospital says it will end its lockout of nurses and other unionized health care workers. (AP)

Indicted ex-mayor's adviser admits campaign-cash guilt

A longtime mentor and key political adviser to indicted state Assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas admitted in federal court yesterday that he funneled campaign money to straw contributors to circumvent federal election law. (Serrano, Asbury Park Press)

Corzine nominates Savio as Superior Court judge

Gov. Jon S. Corzine nominated a Margate municipal judge Thursday to the Superior Court in Atlantic County. (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)

Nuns seek tax-exempt status on land in Cape May Point

The Sisters of Saint Joseph on Thursday morning argued for a tax exemption on their $6.3 million property overlooking the ocean in Cape May Point. (Degener, Press of Atlantic City)

Democratic factions in New Brunswick strive to forego strife for unity

Fresh off a primary election that brought 25 "Democrats for Change" into the city's Democratic committee, representatives from both sides of the hard-fought campaign say they are focusing on shared priorities. (Twasser, Courier News)

State allocates $3.05M for two Camden projects

Camden County will receive $3.05 million from the state to acquire land for a graduate-student dormitory near the Rutgers-Camden campus and to fund a new project on the Camden waterfront that has not yet been identified. (Stilwell, Courier-Post)

At Greek celebration, Corzine says like many New Jerseyans, 'I came here by choice'

Branded an outsider early in his race with GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and the prodigal son of either Wall Street or Illinois, or both, Gov. Jon Corzine seized on the presence of 350 Greek Americans in Drumthwacket this evening to make his case as a New Jerseyan by choice. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Christie, auditioning Donovan for LG, says Corzine 'is going to try to make me look like Rosemary's Baby'

In what looked like an audition for Lieutenant Governor, Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan hosted Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Chrsitie in her hometown today. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: June 12, 2009