Morning News Digest: January 11, 2011

Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts



Affordable housing bill ekes out 21 votes in Senate

Amendments were being made to S1 seemingly moments before a Senate vote today.

State Sen. Ron Rice, Sr. (D-Newark) took his vote off the board as he spoke on the bill – surprising the Dems as they were counting on both hands – but they re-grouped mid-vote and pulled new state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) on the bill.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Paterson honors the Arizona fallen

Respectful of a national moment of silence at 11 a.m., elected officials and clerics gathered at the Hamilton Club today to present a united front against the gun violence in Tucson over the weekend that left six people dead and put Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital with a bullet wound in her head.   (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie’s popularity grows for third month in a row

As Gov. Chris Christie makes his second State of the State address Tuesday, the percentage of New Jerseyans who approve of the way he is handling his job as governor is slowly approving month by month.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



NJ Lawmakers advance second wave of jobs bills

Lawmakers advanced a promised second wave of economic-growth proposals Monday in the Senate and Assembly, including plans to increase tax credits for filmmakers and reduce income taxes for retirees.  (Symons, Home News Tribune)



N.J. Senate to vote on 32 committee-approved Christie nominations

Tensions over Democratic roadblocks to dozens of Gov. Chris Christie’s nominations came to a head today, even as Democrats approved nearly three dozen of the Republican governor’s nominees.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Tempers flare at Turnpike Authority nominee’s hearing

Tempers are flaring in the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning as Democrats and Republicans spar over an issues-advocacy group tied to Gov. Chris Christie’s closest advisers.  (Friedman, The Record)



Christie rethinks tuition cap

Gov. Chris Christie says he’s anxious to do away with caps on tuition increases at four-year state colleges, adding that college presidents should be free to seek “market prices” and be given broader autonomy for nearly all management matters.  (Jordan, New Jersey Press Media)



N.J. Democrats push to end toll hikes intended to fund canceled ARC tunnel

Every time drivers pass through a New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway toll, they’ve been paying extra for a Hudson River rail tunnel that will no longer be built. Gov. Chris Christie canceled the tunnel project in October, citing cost overruns that could leave state taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. Assembly backs A.C. plan

The New Jersey Assembly approved five bills Monday night to enhance the state’s casino-gambling and horse-racing industries. The measures, among other things, would create a new state-run casino tourism district in Atlantic City, revise certain gambling-industry regulations, and allow Internet casino wagering, as well as boost racehorse breeding in New Jersey.  (Parmley, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Arizona shooting won’t separate NJ congressmen from constituents

New Jersey lawmakers don’t plan to curtail public appearances in the wake of the Arizona shootings, in which a gunman critically injured a congresswoman and killed six of her constituents.  (Manochio and Chebium, Daily Record)



Sen. Frank Lautenberg urges ban on clips linked to shooting

A longtime Senate gun control advocate announced plans Monday to introduce legislation banning high-capacity ammunition clips like the one linked to a weekend shooting that left six dead and an Arizona congresswoman gravely wounded.  (Espo for The Associated Press)



Rep. Rush Holt talks to constituents under cloud of Ariz. Shootings

It was as peaceful an event as it should be, when U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-12, spoke Monday to about 120 people at the Somerset Run Community Center, where the question-and-answer session at the adult communi
ty focused on the nation’s new health care law.  (Malwitz, Home News Tribune)



Donovan asking Molinelli to probe missing documents

A large quantity of documents is missing from Bergen County government offices, a key aide to County Executive Kathleen Donovan said Monday.  (Gartland, The Record)



Daniel Benson new 14th District Assemblyman

The 14th Legislative District, which is made up of parts of Mercer and Middlesex counties, has a new state assemblyman.  (Staff, Home News Tribune)



Bills streamline the way business gets done in the Garden State

Both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly voted yesterday to overhaul the state’s regulatory process by streamlining the way government agencies adopt regulations and hand out permits to major developers.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey lawmakers pass bill to build new power plants

New Jersey legislators passed a bill Monday evening that would support building new power plants with long-term incentives, despite staunch criticism from the U.S.’s biggest electricity market and some of the state’s largest power companies.  (Malik, Dow Jones)



Controversial ratepayer-subsidy bill passes both houses

The legislature gave final approval yesterday to a controversial bill meant to lower the cost of electricity in New Jersey by having ratepayers subsidize the construction of new power plants — but it took new amendments and some behind-the-scenes lobbying to get the measure passed.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey moves to curb steroid use by police

Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering measures that would crack down on steroid use by police and firefighters, some of whom abuse the drugs in their efforts to keep physically fit, experts say.  (Ali, Reuters)



Education redorm: Newark’s other voices

While the $100 million Facebook gift to Newark schools gets most of the attention, a few other education foundations are sprouting up – and speaking out — in New Jersey’s largest school district.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



From the Back Room



It’s not going to happen

Following Dan Benson’s victory on Saturday, buzz began about the potential for West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh to either A, primary Benson; or B, run as a Republican in the general election.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



The nightmare continues

Gannett newspapers announced today plans to lay off half of its reporters at three central New Jersey newspapers as of February 4th. This includes The Home News Tribune (Middlesex), the Courier News (Somerset), and the Daily Record (Morris). In all some fifty reporters will be gone, sources say.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






“Win-win” is a misnomer

“A ‘win-win’ on adoption records” is a misnomer that misleads the public, legislators and, most profoundly, anyone who has ever relinquished a NJ-born child for adoption.  (Rolande Hasegawa for PolitickerNJ)



Kindergarten teaches the real state of the state

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

That’s the attitude New Jersey taxpayers should take toward their governor as he launches into his State of the State address today.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Report: Now Chris Christie may be too fat to be president

People and looks today. Obama was once considered too thin to be President. Some woman was considered too sexy to be a banker. And now comes (further) speculation that New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who has repeatedly denied any plans to run for president in 2012, is simply too fat to be president. Much like the time he was considered simply too fat to be governor.  (Vilenksy, New York Magazine)



In 2000, (now entered the political stage, changing how New Jersey’s power elite received its daily political fix. Starting in January 2011, we’re shaking up Trenton once again. Stay tuned for State Street Wire.




Morning News Digest: January 11, 2011