Morning News Digest: June 26, 2009

Legislation would give N.J. developers rights to lift housing project age restrictions

New Jersey developers saddled with approved but unbuilt housing projects aimed at buyers aged 55 and older would be able to seek permission to eliminate the age restrictions, under a bill that won legislative passage Thursday. (Livio, The Star-Ledger)

Justice Barry Albin wins lifetime job on N.J. Supreme Court

Justice Barry Albin will keep his seat on the state's highest court. (Fuchs, The Star-Ledger)

Bill to limit N.J. gun purchases gets legislative approval

Firearms sales in New Jersey would be limited to no more than one per month under controversial legislation that had stalled earlier this year but won final approval early this morning in the rush before the Legislature's summer recess. (Livio, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. lawmakers approve $29B spending plan for Corzine to sign

New Jersey lawmakers Thursday night approved a $29 billion spending plan that Democrats praised for restoring some property-tax rebates, but Republicans criticized as unsound for the long term. (Reitmeyer and Margolin, The Star-Ledger)

Teaneck layoffs include two cops

The town has laid off five full-time employees, including two police officers, in a budget-slashing move. (Ax, The Record)

Stile: Bergen's 'Political Queenpins' on short list for lt. governor

They are Bergen County’s Political Queenpins, equally skilled at charming a room of Canasta-playing seniors and provoking hair-pulling rage among (mostly male) intra-party rivals. (Stile, The Record)

Christie to House panel: Monitor deals proper

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie vigorously defended his record as U.S. attorney Thursday during a congressional hearing marked by testy exchanges with House Democrats. (Heininger, Gloucester County Times)

Gloucester County freeholders urge probe of bias

All seven freeholders in Gloucester County have signed off on a letter calling for the state Attorney General's Office to investigate claims of racial bias against the county prosecutor's office. (McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

N.J. voters to decide whether to fund open space

New Jersey voters would decide if the state should borrow $400 million to preserve open space, farmland, and historic areas under a measure approved by the Legislature yesterday. (DeMarco, The Inquirer)

Report: Pines panel is dangerously weak

The commission charged with protecting New Jersey's Pinelands – a 1.1 million-acre national reserve in the heart of the state – has become so weak and inconsistent that it is threatening the future of the land, according to a report released yesterday by a watchdog group. (Bauers and Knee, The Inquirer)

Budget of $29B approved in N.J.

New Jersey lawmakers yesterday approved a $29 billion budget that addresses drastically falling revenue by cutting property-tax rebates, raising income taxes, and relying on more than $2 billion in federal stimulus aid. (Tamari and Lu, The Inquirer)

Hidden cameras found in N.J. elementary school

Authorities say a computer technician set up wireless cameras to spy on female teachers and secretaries in a New Jersey school. (AP)

$1.2B tax hikes get OK

State lawmakers, divided along partisan lines, approved a $29 billion state budget Thursday that relies on $1.2 billion in tax increases and $2.2 billion in federal stimulus aid as it scales back grants, programs and property tax rebates. (Symons, Asbury Park Press)

State lawmakers approve tax-laden budget

New Jersey legislators passed the state's $29.9 billion budget Thursday over the lengthy protests of Republicans who said it raised taxes while relying too much on one-time revenue. (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

Few fans of New Jersey's recession budget

Many homeowners in New Jersey are losing their homestead rebate checks. (AP)

6 laid-off union workers get extra pay in Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill failed to give Teamsters Local 676 specific notice before it laid off 14 workers this month, costing the township an undisclosed sum in contract-mandated penalty fees, a union leader said. (Smeltz, Courier-Post)

Bill targets glut of 55+ housing

The Assembly on Thursday approved a bill, backed by a South Jersey legislator, that would let developers eliminate the age limit for new-home construction currently restricted to those 55 or older. (Courier-Post)

Buono up with budget exhortation

Questions abounded about the delays leading up to state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland) gripping the gavel and convening the budget session a little while ago. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: June 26, 2009