Morning News Digest: June 23, 2009

Rebates re-bite N.J. Republicans

It was going real well there for about 36 hours. (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Senate Judicary Committee approves Supreme Court Justice Albin for lifetime tenure

After a four-hour confirmation hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee tonight approved Supreme Court Justice Barry T. Albin's bid for tenure on the state's highest court. (Fuchs, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. budget approved by Senate, Assembly committees

A revised state budget that uses a last-minute windfall to preserve taxpayer rebates for households making up to $75,000 cleared the budget committees in the Senate and Assembly today, setting up final votes for Thursday. (Reitmeyer and Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

GOP gov. candidate Chris Christie condemns N.J. public schools as Gov. Corzine heralds system

As it usually does, education is emerging as a key issue in New Jersey's gubernatorial race. But in 2009, there's a twist — as seen by the candidates' appearances today. (AP)

N.J. Senate advances bill setting up driver amnesty program

Motorists hobbled by poor driving records and costly surcharges would get a break from paying interest and other fees under an amnesty program a Senate committee unanimously approved today. (Livio, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Assembly committee moves State Police racial profiling reform bill

Legislation aimed at turning State Police reforms into law was approved today by an Assembly committee and is on its way to a full Assembly vote on Thursday. (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)

Future of proposed 'EnCap' law uncertain

A landmark bill designed to prevent the kind of insider abuses that produced the EnCap Golf debacle may be headed for trouble in Trenton as key Democrats remain on the sidelines. (Pillets, The Record)

Lawyer wants his indictment tossed

Politically-connected Democratic lawyer Dennis J. Oury is asking a federal judge to toss out his eight-count mail fraud indictment, arguing that he did not owe the public a duty of honest services merely because he was the borough attorney in Bergenfield. (Sampson, The Record)

GOP wants more stimulus oversight after EnCap law firm gets contract

Republican lawmakers on Monday urged increased oversight of how New Jersey is spending more than $1.2 billion in federal stimulus money for road and rail projects. (Pillets, The Record)

Bill calls for vote on land protection

Voters would decide in November whether the state should borrow $400 million to preserve farmland, open space, flood-prone land and historic sites, under a bill approved Monday by the budget committees in the Senate and Assembly. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

County tax assessment advance

Gloucester County moved closer Monday to having the first county-wide property tax assessment system in the state. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

Christie trumpets N.J. school vouchers

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial nominee Christopher J. Christie brought his school-choice plan to Camden yesterday, speaking at a second-chance high school's graduation and telling the students to help troubled friends get an education. (Burton, The Inquirer)

N.J. budget plan restores some property-tax rebates

Property-tax rebates would be restored for about 500,000 New Jersey homeowners under state budget revisions approved yesterday. (Tamari and Lu, The Inquirer)

Radnor lays off employees to cut costs

Radnor Township laid off 12 employees Friday, citing the recession. (Farrell, The Inquirer)

Red Bank announces employee furloughs

Employee furloughs are coming to the borough, which is the second step taken to deal with falling revenues and fees in the wake of the worsening economy. (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)

Atlantic County among nation's top 20 for rate of HIV, AIDS

Atlantic County is one of 20 counties with the highest rates for HIV and AIDS in the nation, according to information put out Monday by the National Minority Quality Forum. (Leach, Press of Atlantic CIty)

Administration again tests Atlantic City hiring freeze

Two weeks ago, Business Administrator Michael Scott pledged that the Langford administration's request to waive City Council's hiring freeze would be its last. In a way, he kept his word. Now, it seems the administration is hiring without asking. (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

Plan to shift first-aid squad districts draws conerns from some Woodbridge residents

Frances Brown, an 84-year-old resident of Fords, remembers calling the St. John's First Aid Squad four years ago. An ambulance was at her doorstep on Overlook Terrace by the time it took her to sit down, she said. (Bichao, Courier News)

Cherry Hill seeks punishment

Mayor Bernie Platt said Monday that he wants state pension officials to block retirement benefits for Anthony Saccomanno, the former township administrator who pleaded guilty to a fraud charge. (Smeltz, Courier-Post)

Burlington Co. tax to preserve land could raise $21M

Burlington County expects to raise $21 million this year for farmland, open space and historic preservation as well as park maintenance. (Comegno, Courier-Post)

Albin passes committee 9-4

The much-anticipated confirmation hearing of Barry Albin just ended, with Albin’s renomination for tenure to the state Supreme Court approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of nine to four. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: June 23, 2009