Morning News Digest: June 24, 2010

Stack set to endorse Christie’s budget as he and Van Drew help vote it out of committee

Trenton sources said state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-Union City) is poised to endorse Gov. Chris Christie’s $29.4 billion budget. The news comes with no attendant shock value as Stack and state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) provided the two Democrat votes to drive the budget bill out of committee this evening. Van Drew told this week that he was eager to move the process forward. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Bramnick confident Carroll and McHose will ‘do the right thing’

Gov. Chris Christie signaled from the stage in Gibbstown that all was not syncronicity back at the Statehouse when he told his audience, “I have to get up to Trenton to make sure everyone stays in line and stays in their lanes.”
Getting out of South Jersey, the governor got on the phone with party leaders in the Assembly, in particular to try to corral Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-Franklin) and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Twp.).
(Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Budget vote crumbling?

 As the senate budget committee prepared to discuss the 2011 plan, buzz around the hearing room said two Republican senators were ready to abandon the bill, leaving the deal struck Monday between Gov. Chris Christie Democratic legislative leaders in doubt. Democratic sources said senator Jen Beck (R-Red Bank) and Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) had pulled their support. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ) 

Kean touts municipal mergers 

Former Gov. Thomas Kean said Tuesday that he supports the consolidation of municipalities as a way to make government more efficient and less redundant in the state. “To consolidate services to really lower property taxes — I think the time has come,” he said. “[But] I don’t think everyone’s going to move at once.” (Gartland, The Record) 

New Jersey Supreme Court declines to hear case on teachers’ pensions

 The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear a case in which the state’s largest teachers union sought full funding for its pension fund. In rejecting the case Tuesday, the court let stand a ruling by a three-judge appellate panel that said New Jersey is not constitutionally required to pay the millions it owes every year into the fund for teachers’ pensions. (Ackermann/Fleisher, The Record) 

Legislature wrapping up FY11 budget work

The Senate budget committee on Wednesday advanced the New Jersey budget for the fiscal year that starts next week with a 7-6 vote, moving it a step closer to final passage. Budget committees in both houses are scheduled to hold hearings through the end of the week on the $29.4 billion budget that was agreed to in principle by Democrats who control the Legislature and the Republican governor’s office. (Delli Santi, AP)

Prosecutor takes control of NJ police department 

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed temporary control of a local police department. Wednesday’s move came one day after the Springfield Township Committee declined to designate Capt. Peter Davis as the department’s acting chief. Davis then resigned from the force, leaving it without any command structure. (AP) 

Ingle: The big fight is over 2.5% cap 

As I was saying, you can forget about those predictions of a state shutdown over the budget this year; it will pass on time. The fight is over Gov. Christie’s proposed constitution-backed 2.5 percent annual property tax cap. The governor’s proposed constitutional amendment, which needs to be passed by the Legislature by mid-July to be put on the ballot in November, would limit property tax growth to 2.5 percent with only two exceptions — debt service and voter override, the latter meaning we the people can say if we want to pay higher taxes. (Ingle, Gannett)

Morning News Digest: June 24, 2010