Morning News Digest: January 20, 2011

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



Reshuffling the deck: 13 districts in need of change as redistricting unfolds

As the reapportionment committee prepares for its first public hearing later this month, the big question looming in political circles is which districts will change and what legislators could find themselves without a chair when the music stops.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Pallone calls healthcare repeal “wrong-sided”

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, who has placed his participation in the writing and passage of the healthcare reform bill among his greatest achievements, called the GOP effort to repeal the bill a “wrong-sided” effort designed to benefit only special interests.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Appeals court order Christie administration to get cracking on COAH rules

A state appeals court has ordered Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to immediately comply with its October directive to adopt revised affordable housing rules by March.  (Symons, Daily Record)



N.J. lawmakers, governor agree and disagree on stimulating the economy

Shopping centers wouldn’t have to pay an extra 2.5 percent fee to help subsidize affordable housing when they build in New Jersey. Pharmaceutical giants with a major presence in the northern part of the state could pay fewer corporate taxes.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



N.J. Democrats to ask for planned toll hikes on N.J. Turnpike, Garden State Parkway to be canceled

Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature want to roll back toll increases earmarked to help pay for a commuter rail tunnel that’s not being built.  (The Associated Press)



Latest version of school voucher bill heads for Senate budget committee

Thirteen districts, 166 schools, 82,000 students.

Those are the numbers in the latest version of the bill to create a private school voucher program in New Jersey, the latest stage in a multi-year saga that will see the new bill coming before the Senate budget committee today.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Christie announces pilot education program in Paterson

In his continued effort to remake public schools in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie’s office announced that a famous private education organization would open a pilot project in Paterson, one of New Jersey’s poorest cities.  (Method, Home News Tribune)



Christie pushes school choice, eliminating teacher tenure during pro-charter school film screening

Gov. Chris Christie’s recent charge to fix the state’s failing schools continued today at a screening of pro-charter documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” where he and the state’s top education official delivered remarks about his reform agenda.  (Sebastian, The Star-Ledger)



Mayor Bloomberg, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie engage in border war of words over true home of the Jets

A border war broke out between New York and New Jersey Wednesday as Mayor Bloomberg and Garden State Gov. Chris Christie each claimed Gang Green as his own.

Christie fired the first salvo when he encroached on Bloomberg’s territory, saying the Jets belong to the Empire State in name only.  (Lemire and Goldsmith, NY Daily News)



More in New Jersey say finances improved in year, survey finds

One-fourth of New Jersey residents surveyed by Fairleigh Dickinson University said their financial conditions improved in the last year, up 7 percentage points from 12 months ago.  (Dopp, Bloomberg)



Newark schools chief, whose contract wasn’t renewed, will step down next month

Newark’s school superintendent, Clifford B. Janey, who is to step down early next month, said Wednesday that he wanted to pursue other career opportunities without having to worry about giving less attention to his duties.  (Hu, The New York Times)



Amended bill would boost subsidized stipends for students

Sponsors have upped the ante on a bill that would provide publicly subsidized stipends for private school tuition to low-income children in neighborhoods with failing public schools.  (Alex, The Record)



N.J. loses 16,300 jobs in December, but unemployment rate drops to 9.1%

New Jersey’s economy lost 16,300 jobs in December, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Wednesday, dashing hopes that the state’s job market was beginning to grow.  (Diamond, Asbury Park Press)



Lawmaker drafts bill to OK death penalty for cop killers

State Sen. Robert W. Singer is drafting legislation that would allow the death penalty to be imposed for the murder of an on-duty law enforcement officer.  (Predham Lueddeke, Asbury Park Press)



Experts: Pinelands model unlikely for Barnegat Bay

Barnegat Bay’s environmental problems are so acute, and the political process toward effective action so frustrating, that a few environmental activists have longed for a reprise of the sweeping Pinelands land-use law from 32 years ago to limit development and pollution flowing to the bay.  (Moore, Asbury Park Press)



Conservationists defend proposed rule changes

Proposed revisions to the state’s endangered and threatened species rules were drafted by scientists and wildlife experts, say specialists with conservation groups, who dismissed speculation that the changes would lead to deregulation.  (Moore, Asbury Park Press)



Rutgers defends bidding policy

While Rutgers University has accepted the majority of recommendations by the Office of State Comptroller, it plans to maintain a policy that does not require competitive bidding in all purchases.  (Malwitz, Courier-Post)



State law could cost fans more

A state law to limit what the NJSIAA could charge for admission to its State tournaments was meant to make things more affordable for the average high school sports fan.  (Schutta, The Record)



PATCO sale a nonstarter with DRPA board’s N.J. members

A proposal to sell the PATCO commuter rail line, which operates between Philadelphia and South Jersey, “has no chance of approval,” the vice chairman of PATCO’s parent said Wednesday.  (Nussbaum, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Morris-area Republicans want Route 15 named for Pres. Ronald Reagan

Centennial tributes are being planned to honor former President Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 100 on Feb. 6 — but plans to have Route 15 named in his honor remain elusive.  (Jennings, Daily Record)



Mayor Langford: New Jersey’s Atlantic City takeover efforts are a fight against God

If the Gov. Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey wants to take over Atlantic City, they’ll be fighting a higher power, according to Mayor Lorenzo Langford.

The mayor insisted the state’s impending battle to control the city’s high-tourism areas is not a fight against him, but against God.  (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)



From the Back Room



House votes to repeal health care reform

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care reform act signed into law by President Obama last year.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Lance tries to squelch Larsen with healthcare repeal vote

After toughing out a Republican Primary last year in which three Republicans ran to his right – and staring at the possibility of at least one of those candidates running against him again in 2012, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) plans to vote for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)






Tie-breaker gets key vote in drawing district lines

The panel that will redraw boundaries of New Jersey’s 40 legislative districts is planning to hold two public hearings on Jan. 29. Times and locations have not been determined, but when they do, I recommend the following text for their upcoming announcement.  (Stile, The Record)



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 20, 2011