Morning News Digest: July 19, 2010

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Senate committee to begin work on “tool kit”

The senate budget committee will begin work today on the so-called “tool kit,” a raft of measures designed to help towns and school hold down property taxes. (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)

McMorrow to assume Freehold Twp. Committee seat as a Republican

In a sign of a Democratic Party floundering to stand upright in the aftermath of Gov. Chris Christie’s overwhelming victory here last year, former Monmouth County Freeholder Barbara McMorrow wants to get back into elected office – as a Republican. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

N.J. Senate to consider property tax measures

The New Jersey Senate will begin considering nearly three dozen bills today designed to help towns, counties and school districts contain costs and hold property tax increases to 2 percent a year. (Delli Santi, Associated Press)

NJ Senate Panel Presses For Clinic Funds

Two lawmakers continue to press Gov. Chris Christie to restore $7.5 million in women’s health clinic funds in New Jersey. Sen. Loretta Weinberg has called Christie’s health commissioner and treasurer to appear before her Senate Health Committee on Monday. (Associated Press)

Fees for document copying fall in N.J.

After years of overcharging the public, New Jersey agencies, towns, and counties are offering great bargains this month, drastically reducing fees charged to copy documents. The price of a copy – typically as much as 75 cents a page – has plummeted to a penny or two a page in some jurisdictions. In other places, including Camden and Gloucester Counties, copies are being handed out free. (Hefler, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Charters Derailed in Areas of New Jersey

New Jersey is preparing to announce the confirmation of at least six new charter schools this week, but proposed charters in Princeton, Teaneck and Flemington won’t be on the list, dealing a blow to a movement to widen school choice to affluent districts. (Resmovits, Wall Street Journal)

Local superintendents weigh in on Christie’s proposal to cap their salaries

Governor Chris Christie has set his sights on a different target in the school salary debate, and this time, the targets are the head honchos: school superintendents. (Johnston,

Bill could increase number, variety of charter schools in NJ

With the latest batch of charter-school approvals likely to be announced soon by the state Department of Education, some state lawmakers are beginning a push for a bill that could expand the alternative public schools’ movement in New Jersey. (Symons, Gannett)–variety-of-charter-schools-in-NJ

N.J. tax cap could be years from taking hold

A new law limits local property tax increases to 2 percent annually, but taxpayers shouldn’t expect their bills to start coming in under the cap any time soon — possibly for several years. (Reitmeyer, The Record)

Democrats’ disenchantment grows

For the first time since President Barack Obama took office, Democrats in New Jersey are more likely to be dissatisfied than satisfied with the way things are going in Washington, according to a new poll. (Clurfeld, Gannett)

Christie’s plan to revitalize Atlantic City may come next week

Gov. Chris Christie will announce a plan to revitalize Atlantic City “as soon as next week,” the governor’s spokesman Michael Drewniak confirmed Thursday. (Fletcher and Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

From The Back Room…

Help Wanted

A must read from Friday’s Wall Street Journal. I wonder if the inflatable rat is union? (Editor, PolitickerNJ)


Doblin: They came for sewers and supers, but not Schiano

Somewhere Bryan Christiansen is raising a tall glass of iced schadenfreude. Christiansen was all alone in the I-make-too-much-money-for-Christie-to-like-me sandbox back in February. Now, it’s like the Jersey Shore in there. The only one missing is Snooki. (Doblin, The Record)

Ingle: Washington is turning us off

We’re not happy with Washington. But we doubt a change in congressional leadership will make any difference. The latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media Poll shows 66 percent of us are disappointed with what’s happening in the nation’s capital. (Ingle, Gannett)

Hannon: Redistricting the 800 lb. invisible gorilla

The minute the Census of 2010 becomes official and is on the Internet, you can bet 133 New Jersey residents will be analyzing the results. Included in the group will be 13 sitting congressmen and 120 New Jersey legislators. (Hannon, The Record)

Stile: GOP website war appears far from truce

Through her lawyer, Kathleen Donovan, the Republican candidate for Bergen County executive, has threatened to sue political consultant-merry prankster Rick Shaftan if by Thursday he doesn’t pull the plug (or sell) two websites with Donovan’s name. (Stile, The Record)

Schaer: New Jersey state budget has the wrong priorities

When both houses of the New Jersey Legislature passed the $29.4 billion state budget June 28 — which Governor Christie signed the next day — I was not one of those voting in favor of it. It is not that I disagree with the budget principles of lower spending and lower taxes, but because I strongly disagree with the budget’s priorities. (Schaer, Op-Ed, The Record)


Yes, county and city should sit down and share

Just set a date and do it. That’s our reaction to Cumberland County Freeholder Director Louis Magazzu’s plan to meet with Vineland Mayor Robert Romano to talk about possible shared services between the county and the city. (Editorial, Daily Journal)–county-and-city-should-sit-down-and-share

Cap on New Jersey school superintendent salaries sets a good example

Anyone who has battled a serious weight problem knows that losing that first 5 pounds does very little to improve your overall appearance, but establishes the momentum essential to get the job done. (Editorial, Express-Times)

Christie and Reform Jersey Now / Disclose donors – now

State Senate Democrats are now attempting to extend pay-to-play rules, as well as disclosure requirements, to groups such as Reform Jersey Now – a nonprofit that is pushing Gov. Chris Christie’s agenda. (Editorial, Press of Atlantic City)

Christie’s grade after 1st semester: Incomplete

We can say this much with certainty about Gov. Chris Christie halfway through his first year in office: He has stirred the pot, with bold words and actions, and a willingness to stick to many of his pledges, despite the increasingly hysterical criticism swirling around him. (Editorial, Daily Record)–Incomplete

Christie at 6 months

On Jan. 19, Chris Christie became the 55th governor of New Jersey. Six months into the job, he has shown that a mixture of confidence, bombast and tenacity can indeed turn Trenton upside down. (Editorial, The Record)

This road looks familiar

A task force assembled by Gov. Christie recently reported that New Jersey’s government could save a bundle simply by turning over many of its core functions – from motor-vehicle services to school facilities – to the private sector. But thanks partly to another governor named Christie, New Jerseyans need not wait in suspense for the results of this government innovation. (Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Morning News Digest: July 19, 2010