Morning News Digest: January 12, 2011

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Christie focuses on pension and education reform in State of the State

Gov. Chris Christie, pledging to deliver a balanced budget with no tax increases this year, called for pension reform, elimination of teacher tenure, more charter schools, and continued budget discipline in his State of the State address delivered Tuesday in the Assembly chamber of the Statehouse.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)



Race to play major role in redistricting effort

As it did in 2001, race is likely to play a major role in this year’s redistricting effort as census data is expected to show a rise in the state’s Latino population over the past 10 years.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



NJEA Prez pans Christie’s speech

New Jersey Education Association President Barbara Keshishian issued a statement in response to Gov. Chris Christie’s address entitled “Christie’s education rhetoric doesn’t add up.”  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Christie seeks end of teacher tenure

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for an end to teacher tenure in his first State of the State Tuesday, a move that would require cooperation from the Democrats in the state legislature.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Gov. Christie: Pension system antiquated, unsustainable

Gov. Chris Christie in his State of the State speech Tuesday called the public employee pension system “antiquated and unsustainable,” but Democratic lawmakers said an overhaul won’t do any good unless the Republican governor restarts funding to the program.  (Jordan, Daily Record)–Pension-system-antiquated–unsustainable



Christie talks of working together

With a new poll showing his approval ratings still high, Gov. Chris Christie struck a more cooperative tone in his first State of the State address while keeping his national profile and his conservative credentials intact.  (Method, Courier-Post)



Gov softens speech tone as he sets up agenda

With a State of the State speech that departed from bullish tones, Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday began the tricky task of setting a legislative agenda in an election year for a Legislature run by the opposing party.  (Gibson and Friedman, Today’s Sunbeam)



Christie hails accomplishments, warns of more work to be done

New Jersey is on the road to recovery, Gov. Christie said in his first State of the State speech Tuesday, but he warned that more difficult work lies ahead.  (Lu, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



NJ Dems: Plan to solve jobless dilemma absent from guv’s speech

Democrats said they listened closely for the 37 minutes of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State speech on Tuesday without hearing a good plan on how to get more of the state’s unemployed residents back to work.  (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)



Assembly speaker insists New Jersey should focus on jobs

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, pushing back against Gov. Christie’s assertion that budgetary discipline and pension and education reform would take priority in the coming year, said Tuesday the focus should be on job creation.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Local officials expecting more from Christie in 2011

Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday described his first year in office as one of dramatic reform, but local officials here say from their perspective, too little has changed for taxpayers.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Deadline for paying tunnel debt extended

NJ Transit’s deadline, which was Tuesday, to repay the federal government $271 million advanced for the since canceled Hudson River rail tunnel project has been extended a week.  (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)



N.J. Lawmakers introduce bills to reverse toll hikes

Democratic lawmakers want to repeal New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway toll increases earmarked for a scrapped New Jersey-New York rail tunnel.
  (The Associated Press)



Norcross enters city housing quandary

George Norcross — political power broker, philanthropist, insurance executive and Cooper Hospital’s chairman of the board — has carved out a new niche for himself.  (Stilwell, Courier-Post)



Cooper Foundation pledges to fulfill promise of $1 homes in Camden

The charitable arm of Cooper University Hospital is creating a plan to fulfill an 18-year-old promise to give tenants in a low-income Camden housing complex a chance at homeownership for just $1, officials said Tuesday.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Judge upholds South Amboy mayoral vote but rival plans appeal

As he upheld the election of Democrat Fred Henry as mayor of South Amboy, state Superior Court Judge Phillip Paley commented Tuesday on the importance even one vote can play in the electoral process.  (Racz, Home News Tribune)



From the Back Room



Raia succeeds Webber

The state Republican Party has elected Saddle River Mayor Sam Raia as its new chairman.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Senate approves nominees

The Senate approved nominees to boards and commissions Tuesday morning including the appointment of Ron Gravino as a commissioner on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The senate approved Gravino without discussion.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)






Governor signals he’ll ease brawling

Governor Christie slipped on a pair of velvet gloves over his bare knuckles Tuesday.

He spent much of his first State of the State speech arguing that he’s a brawler with a higher public policy purpose, not a thin-skinned bully who spoils for a fight simply for the sake of a viral, YouTube confrontation.  (Stile, The Record)



Hey Guv: Honestly, you’re no Abe

I guess that check is in the mail after all.

I’m talking about my property tax rebate check. Two years ago, I spent a lot of time listening to a guy named Chris Christie tell me that — if elected governor — he would make sure to preserve those property tax rebates, not like his opponent in the GOP primary, that skinflint Steve Lonegan.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



We will soon see how well things are going in Christie’s N.J.

New Jersey is getting better every day, the governor proclaimed in Tuesday’s State of the State message in Trenton.  (Snowflack, Daily Record)



Better ways to deal with college bullying

Frank Lautenberg, U.S. senator from New Jersey with a penchant for sticking his nose into other people’s business, has struck again. This time he’s joined by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, who should know better.  (Ingle, Daily Record)



Chris Christie shows his political genius in first State of the State address

When Chris Christie walked into the Assembly chamber to deliver his State of the State message his reputation for being a different kind of governor  – one always itching for a fight – accompanied him.  (McMahon for New Jersey Newsroom)



Christie turns on the charm in State of the State speech

Gov. Christie opened his debut State of the State speech with a moment of solemnity and closed on a note of grace – with plenty of what he called “Jersey attitude” in between.  (Riodran, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



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 12, 2011