Morning News Digest: September 22, 2010

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Port Authority opens in Shanghai and London; Baroni credited on bridge

BAYONNE – Having just committed $1 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge, “The Port Authority was created for this,” said Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Before, “The ships were virtually fighting with each other in the harbor.”  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Gov brings “hammer” to the Bayonne Bridge

BAYONNE – Jobs being the theme of the week, Gov. Chris Christie is stringing together accomplishments at a nice clip.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Holt v. Sipprelle I

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell Twp.) and Republican challenger Scott Sipprelle are scheduled to debate for the first time on Thursday, October 14 at Rider’s Sweigart Auditorium at an event sponsored by Rider University and the League of Women Voters of Hopewell Valley, Lawrence Township and Princeton Area.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Democrats to withhold approval of funding transportation projects until Christie explains trust fund

TRENTON — Democratic lawmakers flexed their muscles again today for Gov. Chris Christie, saying they would withhold approval of vital funding for transportation projects until the governor explains his long-term plan to pay for them.  (Star-Ledger Staff)



NJ: Overruns would cancel commuter tunnel

Gov. Christie said New Jersey might be forced to cancel an $8.7 billion commuter-rail tunnel to New York after the federal government estimated the project could cost as much as $5 billion more than projected.   (Dopp and Brennan, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Revised bill would restrict boutique casinos in Atlantic City to new construction

A bill that would allow smaller boutique casinos to open in Atlantic City has been revised so that only newly built properties could qualify, a change that would lead to greater job creation, state Sen. Jim Whelan, the bill’s sponsor, said Tuesday.  (Fletcher, Statehouse Bureau)



NJ Assemblyman requests criminal investigation into ex-sheriff’s move to Port Authority

A state lawmaker has added his voice to a growing chorus of calls for an investigation into whether former Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale’s withdrawal from his re-election bid was part of a politically motivated deal that rewarded him with a high-paying job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  (Strunsky, The Star-Ledger)




Christie reserves right to invoke executive privilege despite giving up Race to the Top documents

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie said he’ll give Democrats documents related to the state’s failed bid for Race to the Top education funding Wednesday — but they shouldn’t expect an open book.  (Fleisher, Statehouse Bureau)




From the Back Room


Rhee to NJ?

Since the defeat of Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, speculation has turned to the district’s schools chancellor and resident education rock star, Michelle Rhee.   (Editor, PolitickerNJ)



Christie goes Hollywood

Gov. Chris Christie will campaign with California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman tomorrow in Burbank.  (Editor, PolitickerNJ)





Poll: Public behind Christie on many reforms

The public is behind Gov. Christie on many of his initiatives to reform government. Increasing state workers’ health care premiums and eliminating double-dipping both get the green light. But a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media Poll out today is divided on cutting benefits for current employees.  (Ingle, Asbury Park Press)



Don’t Make Me Use My Subpoena

A Democrat recently told me that subpoena power is possible through a resolution and floor vote. So, if the Democrats are in control of a chamber ( and in New Jersey’s case they, you know, control both ), they can authorize a committee to issue subpoenas in order to force an appearance.  (Finke, NJN)



Is he kidding? Gov. Chris Christie wants more tax cuts for the rich

A few days after saying New Jersey is so broke it must cut medical benefits for retirees and freeze their pensions forever, Gov. Chris Christie now says he wants to cut income taxes for the rich.  (Star-Ledger Editorial Board)



Will there be a stampede out of troubled schools?

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law last week that allows parents who are dissatisfied with the schools in their district to transfer their children to schools anywhere in the state. The bill, A355, even provides money to pay transportation costs for the students.   (Morgan, The Jersey Journal) Morning News Digest: September 22, 2010