Morning News Digest: April 29, 2010

Christie claims mandate for school budget reforms

 Governor Christie said Wednesday that voters statewide were “crystal clear” in their desire to stem the growing cost of New Jersey’s public schools, and that he will move aggressively on reforms to roll back teacher pensions, cap labor costs and aid school boards at the bargaining table. Record turnout led to school budget defeats in more than 58 percent of districts in the state on Tuesday, the largest proportion in more than three decades. Last year, only about a third of budgets failed. (Alex/Brody/Reitmeyer, The Record)

Showdown in West Orange: ‘nice guy’ versus hard-nosed gadfly

A much anticipated mayoral debate with political implications at all levels is underway at the high school in this suburban Essex County town where voters failed the budget last week. Councilman Robert Parisi, a Democrat who works in the insurance business, and securities professional John Schmidt, a Republican, sit onstage. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

N.J. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Menendez recall

The often unpredictable New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear from Tea Party lawyers who want to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez. The Tea Party originally filed a recall notice last year, but then-Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells declined to act on it after being advised that there is no recall mechanism for senators and congressmen. In March, a state appellate court ruled that Menendez might face a recall, but stayed any effort to collect signatures until after an appeal. (Editor, PolitickerNJ)

Governor Christie rules out 2012 run for president

 Governor Christie, responding to heightening speculation in the national media, said he would rule out running for president in 2012. “Yes, absolutely,” he said. “‘Cause I’m not crazy, that’s why.” (Fleisher, The Record) 

Students stage walkouts to protest N.J. cuts 

Teenagers in Cherry Hill, Camden, Moorestown, and Willingboro, and at other area high schools, were among thousands of students statewide who walked out of classes Tuesday to protest Gov. Christie’s proposed cuts to education funding. School administrators said the walkouts, most of which took place in the morning, were largely peaceful, with students expressing dismay about anticipated teacher and staff layoffs and program cuts. (Giordano/Osborne, Inquirer)

Lonegan: Christie budget isn’t conservative enough

Steve Lonegan, a voice of fiscal doom crying out from a far right corner of the New Jersey political wilderness, offered this prophecy Wednesday about Governor Christie’s budget.  (Stile, The Record)

Menendez recall case goes to N.J. high court

The ongoing legal battle between Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and tea party activists who are waging an organized effort to recall him from office is headed to New Jersey’s highest court. (Isenstadt, Politico)

And the Children Shall Lead — New Jersey Students Fight Back

And the children shall lead. They were in the front lines of the Civil Rights movement. They have marched against war, hunger, and child labor. They are the hope and future that President Obama keeps promising. And the children shall lead. (Singer, Huffington Post)

The Day: Back to Class for Columbia Students

Yesterday was a momentous day throughout New Jersey where, as reported by Winnie Hu in today’s New York Times, an estimated 18,000 high school students “walked out of class in one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years.” (DeSocio, New York Times)

More on the table

In his quest to cut state spending, Gov. Chris Christie is looking to rein in salaries and benefits at the nonprofit social service agencies that do business with New Jersey. (Trenton Times)

Morning News Digest: April 29, 2010