Morning News Digest: January 26, 2011

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Christie to 6 of 7 PVSC commissioners: you’re gone

Landing like a cannonball in the middle of the Passaic Valley Sewarage Commission, Gov. Chris Christie this evening issued letters to six of the seven PVSC notifying them that he has kickstarted removal proceedings for cause.   (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Bill would rein in vaccine exemptions

Religious exemptions for immunizations have grown nearly 850 percent since 2005, an alarming rate that officials say puts children at risk.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)



Christie: No need for N.J. to declare bankruptcy, yet

Gov. Chris Christie isn’t looking to declare New Jersey bankrupt to escape billions in debt even as Washington weighs allowing that option to rescue fiscally challenged states.  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



Christie says he’ll restore property tax rebates – as credits

Gov. Chris Christie said he intends to restore property tax rebates to some New Jersey homeowners. 

However, the check won’t be in the mail.  (Mulvihill for The Asssociated Press)—as-credits



Christies launches TV, print ad campaign to lure tax-stung businesses to New Jersey

Imagine you’re an Illinois business executive you’ve just settled back in your Chicago condo to watch some TV and forget about that stunning increase in income and business taxes the state government just slapped you with when a stocky guy who says he the governor of New Jersey unexpectedly appears on the screen and he urging Land of Lincoln businesses to bailout for New Jersey.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn responds as NJ, other states try to poach jobs

Gov. Pat Quinn has a message for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other officials trying to lure jobs from Illinois: Back off.  (The Associated Press)–Back-off



Gov. Christie is appealing $271M bill from U.S. government for ARC tunnel

Gov. Chris Christie said tonight he is appealing the $271 million bill from the federal government for work done on the canceled ARC commuter train tunnel to New York City.  (Frassinelli and Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



Christie escalates teacher-union war by proposing end to century of tenure

In New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s perfect world, the worst unionized teachers would forfeit raises or even lose tenure rights they have enjoyed for more than a century.  (Dopp and Deprez, Bloomberg)



Christie requests $53 million in emergency funds for December blizzard

Governor Christie sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday requesting $53 million in “snow assistance” money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 15 counties — including Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Morris — that bore the brunt of the Dec. 26 blizzard.  (Bautista, The Record)



N.J. Senate panel approves 32 of Gov. Christie’s nominations

After months of waiting, two dozen of Gov. Chris Christie’s nominees to various state boards and commissions were finally free to start working following confirmation votes today by the Democratic-controlled state Senate Judiciary Committee and then the full Senate.  (Strunsky, The Star-Ledger)



Romney, Huckabee tied in New Jersey for Republican presidential nomination

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are tied in a poll of a hypothetical Republican presidential nominee vote in New Jersey.  (Gibson, The Record)



Mitt Romney visits Gov. Christie, lays groundwork for second presidential campaign

The Republican National Convention is more than a year away, but the gears of presidential politics are already turning in New Jersey.

Mitt Romney, eyeing a second campaign for the nation’s highest office, visited the governor’s mansion Monday night for dinner with Gov. Chris Christie, three sources said.  (Megerian and Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Newark set for first NCAA regional

The NCAA Tournament is coming to Newark, and the city is ready.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker were on hand Tuesday for a press conference to announce Newark’s plans for this year’s East Region finals to be held at the Prudential Center.  (The Associated Press)



Doubts about state aid, as school budget decisions loom

It’s still early, but as New Jersey’s public schools begin crafting their budgets for next year, the guessing games have begun as to whether the state aid picture in 2011 will be a repeat of 2010.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Many schools have left stimulus funds unused

New Jersey schools have used less than $2 million of the $268 million in federal stimulus money sent to Trenton in September as part of President Obama’s emergency package to save education jobs.  (Brody, The Record)



Job creation most important, N.J. Democrats say

Democratic legislators from New Jersey praised President Obama’s call for measures to create jobs and revive the economy.

“Job creation is the most important issue for South Jerseyans and all Americans,” U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews said in the wake of the State of the Union Address.  (Staff, Courier-Post)



Sweeney backs Camden County consolidation

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney endorsed Camden County’s plan to merge municipal police and fire services Tuesday, putting the weight of one of the state’s most powerful Democrats behind a proposal that remains short on detail.  (Osborne, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Sens. Lautenberg, Menendez introduce federal gun-control bills

Three federal gun-control bills introduced Tuesday would help prevent such violence as the Tucson attack that left six dead and 14 injured, according to the New Jersey Democratic senators sponsoring the package.  (Young, The Star-Ledger)



NJ Sen. Robert Menendez believes second term for himself largely depends on president’s approval rating in 2012 election

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez believes his re-election hopes are inextricably tied to President Obama’s popularity.  (McDonald, The Jersey Journal)



State Sen. Singer proposes reinstatement of death penalty after shooting death of Lakewood officer

In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Lakewood police Officer Christopher Matlosz, state Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean) has introduced legislation that would reinstate the death penalty in New Jersey.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Atlantic City casino project raises cash

Two weeks after NJ Gov. Chris Christie leaned on Morgan Stanley brass to try again to raise the cash needed to complete its half-built Revel casino in Atlantic City, the money appears to be in hand and workers could be back on the job as soon as next week.  (DeCambre and Kosman, New York Post)



Arbitrator restores free DRPA rides

Union workers are entitled to free rides on Delaware River Port Authority toll bridges and PATCO trains despite Gov. Christie’s demand that the perks be taken away, an arbitrator has ruled.  (Nussbaum, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Senate panel approves Warshaw as prosecutor

In a few weeks the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will be moving to new temporary headquarters in Freehold. As it turns out, the switch will take place with a new chief executive on the job.  (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)



Furlough plan faces challenge by union

Camden County Council 10 has filed grievances and is threatening legal action over the county’s plan to furlough workers.  (Mathus Desai, Courier-Post)



Glouco targets officials’ benefits

Gloucester County officials are in the process of determining what legal options the county has to cut health and welfare plans for elected and appointed officials.  (Murray, Courier-Post)



From the Back Room



Race to the Top redux

During the portion of Tuesday’s State of the Union address dedicated to education, the president uttered what have become the four dirtiest words in New Jersey’s political lexicon: Race to the Top.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



And then there was one

When Gov. Chris Christie bowled for Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (PVSC) tonight, he indicated his desire to fell six of seven, leaving only Commissioner Ken Luc
ianin as a spare.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)






Has Chris Christie touched the third rail?

Today, Governor Chris Christie inserted himself into the national political debate.  It wasn’t on repeal of President Obama’s health care plan or immigration reform.  It was on the issue of abortion.  (Murray, PolitickerNJ)



Shut up, Chuck

When the U.S. Senator from New York gave that spiel about cancellation of the ARC tunnel he gave evidence he knows next to nothing about the project was supposed to do – and why resistance from New York officials made that goal impossible.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Government Efficiency Movement meeting should be open

Tim Smith has the right idea. Through what he calls the Government Efficiency Movement or GEM, the Roxbury councilman hopes to convince municipal officials to relinquish at least some control over their police departments. That won’t be easy. Even in these tough economic times, there are going to be many mayors and councilmembers who fear a loss of “home rule.”  (Snowflack, Daily Record)



Hold a hearing and ask about Hamas rumors

The sender of the message was recognizable as a regular reader, one with a level head, but the subject matter was a little bizarre. “Bob, what is all this … I see regarding Christie appointing a Hamas sympathizer to the N.J. Supreme Court?”  (Ingle, Daily 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 26, 2011