Morning News Digest: March 24, 2010

Furor over Revel casino project’s China link

The planned Revel casino in Atlantic City, whose developers are seeking $300 million in state tax breaks, would be built with a “significant” amount of materials from China and could get its final piece of financing from there as well, the project’s chief executive told The Inquirer in an interview.  Kevin DeSanctis, the project’s CEO, said it was common for major casino projects to buy materials from China. DeSanctis also said he was negotiating with Chinese banks for the final $1 billion of financing needed to get the stalled project completed.  (Tamari and Parmley, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Gov calls on school districts and education associations to freeze salaries

Meeting pushback at the local level from mayors and supers fearful of service loss and layoffs, the governor’s office issued a release this afternoon arguing for the implementation of a salary freeze for fiscal year 2011 in all collective bargaining agreements and requiring school district employees to make contributions to their health benefits that equal those required of state employees under the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Stung in the burbs, unlikely allies Sarlo and Doherty want Abbott numbers probe

They’re an unlikely twosome at the front of the room: the ramrod Republican former Army captain from rural New Jersey and the fast-talking small town mayor from polyglot Bergen, but early in the budget process they have their doubts about Abbott School District funding. “We want to know what the various scenarios are, what are the numbers exactly, because the cuts to the suburban schools as proposed are so devastating,” state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D–Wood-ridge), chair of the budget committee, told “I’m going to put in the request today to the governor’s office.” (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Corzine to head Wall Street firm 

Former Gov. Jon Corzine will serve as chairman and CEO of MF Global Holdings, a futures and options broker in the cash and derivatives market, and he’ll become an operating partner at J.C. Flowers & Co., a buyout firm. Corzine served as co-chairman at Goldman Sachs before running for the U.S. Senate. (Editor, PolitickerNJ) 

Doherty formally kicks off his mayoral candidacy in Belmar 

Hoping to succeed retiring Mayor Kenneth E. Pringle, Belmar Council President Matt Doherty launched his candidacy for mayor this evening at the Taylor Pavilion. “I love living in Belmar and I’m excited about the future,” said the 36-year old first elected in 2006 and re-elected last year by 18 votes in a Chris Christie tsunami year where Democrats like Doherty were mostly clobbered in Monmouth County. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Yudin, Schuber among Christie appointments

Governor Christie nominated Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Robert Yudin of Wyckoff to the board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority board Tuesday, while attempting to replace three of four members whose terms have expired. The exception is Chairman Carl Goldberg, who has held that position since being appointed by former Gov. James McGreevey in 2002. Goldberg has played a role in delicate ongoing negotiations between the Xanadu developers and potential new investor Steven Ross, the billionaire New York City real estate developer. (Brennan, The Record) 

Christie: Teachers should give back scheduled raises 

Governor Christie called Tuesday for the state’s public school teachers to accept pay freezes in 2011 and make immediate payments toward their medical benefits, as significant layoffs and program cuts loom in most school districts. (Alex, The Record) 

Senate public hearing on Christie’s proposed budget draws hundreds in Paramus 

Critics of Governor Christie’s proposed budget cuts lined up Tuesday at a state Senate budget hearing to explain exactly how the belt-tightening will affect their lives. More than 200 people attended the seven-hour Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing at Bergen Community College in Paramus, and while some offered support for Christie’s budget, most did not. (Ax/Gartland, The Record) 

Ingle: An alternative to layoffs

Parents report some teachers are starting to politic in the classroom, sometimes passing out false information blaming looming cutbacks and layoffs on Gov. Christie. In the first place, the cutbacks and layoffs would be decided by superintendents and school boards and there is nothing that says teachers have to be a part of that. Let them trim some of the administration fat and keep the teachers which is what school used to be about — teachers/students/learning. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: March 24, 2010