Morning News Digest: January 27, 2011

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The backflow of sewerage money

Gov. Chris Christie flushed out individual Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners this week, but the authority has long been known as an entrenched patronage mill built on the confluences of money, political loyalty and influence.  (Carroll and Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



N.J. tells feds: We don’t owe you $271M

New Jersey told Washington Tuesday night – in legal terms – why it need not repay $271 million related to the now-canceled ARC transportation project.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)



N.J. Assembly Republicans shake up budget team in anticipation of Christie’s fiscal plan

Less than a month before Gov. Chris Christie will lay out his state budget plan, Republicans in the Assembly are shaking up their budget team.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Top GOP member of N.J. Assembly budget committee steps down

Assemblyman Joe Malone, the top Republican on the Assembly Budget Committee, announced this morning he is stepping down from his post Wednesday, one month before Governor Christie outlines his proposed budget for next year.  (Friedman, The Record)



Redistricting committee at odds before hearing

Partisan infighting took hold of New Jersey’s Apportionment Commission before its first public hearings Saturday in heavily Democratic Camden and Republican-dominated Toms River.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Chris Christie coy about 2012 preference

Chris Christie is getting the kind of face time from presidential aspirants usually reserved for Iowa farmers.  (Summers, Politico)



Gov. Christie sends a market-calming message on bankruptcy and New Jersey, this time

New Jersey won’t be putting up the “Going Out of Business” signs any time soon, according to Governor Chris Christie.  (Holt, New Jersey Newsroom)



Christie signs 9 bills into law, including measure to improve fire safety at New Jersey colleges

Legislation aimed at improving fire safety at New Jersey colleges is one of nine bills that have been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Don’t let lawmakers play us for chumps, Christie tells Middletown crowd

The public needs to pressure state legislators to enact health care and pension reform this year, before the state digs itself further into a financial hole, Gov. Chris Christie told more than 200 people who braved Wednesday’s snowstorm to hear him speak.  (Penton, Asbury Park Press)



Christie cites Parsippany police perks as reason to control ‘runaway’ salaries

New Jersey cannot succeed unless it follows fiscal discipline and enacts education, health-care and pension reform, said Gov. Chris Christie to over 200 people who weathered Wednesday’s snowstorm to attend a “town hall-style” meeting in the township.  (Penton, New Jersey Press Media)–runaway–salaries



Illinois governor fires back at Christie: We don’t need advice from some guy from Jersey

Desperate states try desperate measures, so the governors of Illinois and New Jersey are feuding over whose battered economy deserves more jobs.  (Tyrell, New Jersey Newsroom)



When presidents focus on education, states focus on implementation

The day after President Obama made education a central theme of his State of the Union address, lawmakers started talking the details of what federal rules will affect states like New Jersey in the coming years.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



State grant will supplement payrolls for Cumberland, Salem county businesses that hire new workers

Cumberland and Salem counties will use a $253,000 state grant to help supplement the payroll of businesses that hire new workers through county job-help programs.  (Barlas, Press of Atlantic City)



Gov. Christie’s suspensions lead to resignations of Jersey City department director, Harrison official and two others

A Jersey City department director and a Harrison official were among four commissioners who resigned yesterday from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, one day after Gov. Chris Christie suspended all but one of the seven PVSC commissioners without pay and began procedures to remove them from office.  (McDonald, The Jersey Journal)



Sen. Robert Menendez likes idea of HBLR extension into Staten Island but needs “to see the benefit for New Jersey”

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez supports the concept of extending the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail into Staten Island, but he wants to hear specifics of the plan before committing to full support.  (McDonald, The Jersey Journal)



N.J. toll collectors, to keep jobs, may get paid less

Toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are considering concessions to keep their jobs from shifting into private hands. The union that represents turnpike collectors has proposed returning between $9 million and $14 million, Turnpike Authority board member Michael DuPont said.  (The Associated Press)



DRPA told to restore free rides to workers

An arbitrator has directed the Delaware River Port Authority to restore free rides on its four bridges and the PATCO Hi-Speedline to union workers despite an edict from Gov. Chris Christie to rescind them.  (Stilwell, Courier-Post)



Camden city officials vote to raise property taxes 23%

Camden property taxes have not gone up since the 1990s, and the city is trying to make up for lost time.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



From the Back Room



Chocolate Thunder returns

Check out this footage from Brick City Season 2.  Pay particular attention to Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s drive on Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Redistricting public hearings Saturday

The legislative reapportionment committee will hold two public hearings Saturday in order to get public input on the redistricting process.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)






Christie’s trip to D.C. isn’t really surprising

For the past two years, Governor Christie snubbed the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual lobbying and glad-handing expedition to Washington.  (Stile, The Record)



Christie cranks up charter movement

Governor Christie and his Education Department announced that a record number of charter school applications had been approved in the latest round of the program.  (Ahearn, 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 27, 2011