Morning News Digest: November 9, 2010

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook 



Senate committee advocates veto on marijuana regs

TRENTON – The state Senate told Gov. Chris Christie to try again on the medical marijuana overhaul he attempted to impose, or face a reverse veto.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Gaming summit legislation in Senate committee

TRENTON – The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee is handling several bills that are the product of Gov. Chris Christie’s commission report on gaming and other issues by developer Jon Hanson, and the Democrat legislature’s three-venue gaming summit to examine the same issues.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



U.S. report faults Christie, as prosecutor, on hotel stays

WASHINGTON — When he was a top federal prosecutor, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey routinely billed taxpayers for hotel stays whose cost exceeded government guidelines, according to a report the Justice Department released on Monday.  (Savage, The New York Times)



GOP prods Dems on tool kit; Dems push back

TRENTON — Slingshots and spitballs remained the tools of choice in the Statehouse Monday, as lawmakers exchanged angry barbs on a day when a busy legislative calendar didn’t include so-called “tool kit” reforms Gov. Chris Christie has been urging for nearly six months.  (Symons, Daily Record)–Dems-push-back



Affordable housing bill goes to Assembly

TRENTON – Despite four hours of oppositional testimony, an Assembly panel Monday approved a bill that would reshape how towns meet their constitutional obligation to provide affordable housing.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Gov. Christie pledges to veto affordable housing bill advanced by N.J. Assembly panel

TRENTON — As mayors, lobbyists and state government officials packed a Trenton committee room for a hearing on a bill that would abolish the controversial Council on Affordable Housing, Assemblyman Jerry Green offered words of warning: Nobody, he said, will leave completely satisfied.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. Senate committee advances bill banning credit checks on current, prospective employees

TRENTON — A bill to ban businesses from conducting credit checks on most current or prospective employees cleared a legislative hurdle today.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Overhaul of Casino Control Commission finds little opposition in State House

State legislative gaming committees are preparing to move quickly on Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to overhaul Atlantic City casino regulations, although one local legislator is urging caution.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. government agencies to charge lower copying fees under open records changes

Government agencies in New Jersey can now charge only 5 cents a page for paper copies of most public records and must provide them for free if sent by e-mail under a new law that goes into effect today.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



N.J. Democrats renew effort to restore funding for family-planning centers

TRENTON – Democratic state lawmakers on Monday renewed their charge to restore funding for family-planning centers statewide, pushing back against the Christie administration’s opposition.  (Lu, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Bill would for assisted living facilities to pay for patients

Assisted-living facilities that promised new residents that they would not be evicted when they become eligible for Medicaid would have to place funds in escrow to ensure that those elderly patients receive care as long as they need it, under a bill passed Monday by the state Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.  (Rose, Press of Atlantic City)



Feds want $271 million from NJ Transit for tunnel

NEWARK, N.J., — NJ Transit owes the federal government $271 million for the Hudson River rail tunnel that Gov. Chris Christie scrapped last month.  (The Associated Press)



Does New Jersey do enough to protect your pet? Lawmakers, advocates struggle to prevent cruelty

Ten years ago, the State Commission of Investigation reported the state’s animal-welfare laws were completely inadequate, and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is tasked with enforcing those laws, was running unchecked.  (Procida, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. will cut workers’ tax for funding family leave

With all the recent talk about insolvent state funds that keep gobbling up cash, here’s a rare piece of news: New Jersey’s paid family-leave pot has amassed so much money that officials have decided taxpayers need to contribute less.  (Kwoh, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. Human Relations Council to talk about immigration at conference

TRENTON — A Immigration issues will be the focus of the annual leadership conference of New Jersey’s Human Relations Council.  (The Associated Press)



‘Blame the Blue Dogs’ theory for Democratic losses doesn’t add up

If there was any sliver of hope for moderate Democrats on a catastrophic midterm election night, it was their assumption that now, at least, the party’s leaders would have to focus on recapturing the political center.  (Bai, The New York Times)



From the Back Room



Decision points

oliticos eagerly await the appearance tomorrow of “Decision Points,” reflections on his presidential years by former President George W. Bush, whose efforts at memoir immediately prompted the following parallels drawn by insiders in casual conversation.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Why things never get better No. 863

There was a brief flurry of activity after Reporter Larry Higgs wrote that NJ Transit and Amtrak had held talks to see if any work done on the tunnel to Macy’s basement could be used as part of Amtrak’s plan for high speed trains from Washington to Boston. (Ingle, Asbury Park Press)



Housing hearing shows why Christie can’t afford to leave home

If I could suggest just one reform to improve the way our state government operates, it would be this: The governor can’t sign a bill until he has sat in on at least one hearing about it.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Incense and peppermints

So, it has been many years since I have heard people devoting this much time to talking about Marijuana. Of course when I hear it now at the State House it is in a very different context.  (Fink, NJN)



Republicans may yet have upper hand in Senate

On paper, the numbers tell you the Democrats held on to a majority in the Senate last week. (Seib, The Wall Street Journal)

  Morning News Digest: November 9, 2010