Morning News Digest: January 28, 2011

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Christie lays groundwork in speech to revisit pension and healthcare and education reform

At the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce banquet, Gov. Chris Christie tonight applauded the chamber for the financial and spiritual support it lends to the state business community and redoubled his vow to impose fiscal discipline on the state’s finances.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



A lot of Republicans, a few Dems round out train jaunt as cyber Cryan blasts Christie

Republicans outmuscle Democrats here on the train and it stands to reason, of course – this is The Continuing Story of Gov. Chris Christie and company, so why would Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan be a lively spirit here in the center aisle, as he has been in the past?  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Heard on the train

The train ride is a 3-hour-long schmoozefest and rolling party.  Booze flows and tongues get loose. Here is some of what we have heard.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Christie touts fiscal reform to Chamber

Gov. Chris Christie brought his reform message to a crowd of 700 business leaders, lobbyists and elected officials here Thursday night to assure them the days of New Jersey as inhospitable to entrepreneurs were fading under his watch.  (Roh, Courier-Post)



Christie signals tough line on public spending at annual chamber dinner in Washington

The public wants to hear tough talk from state and national leaders about programs that “are bankrupting us,” including public employee pensions, Social Security and Medicare, Governor Christie said Thursday at a New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington.  (Jackson, The Record)



Christie says stirrings of recovery no reason to delay debt fix

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said policymakers shouldn’t allow the nascent U.S. economic recovery to delay them from mending the state’s finances.  (Dopp and Selway, Bloomberg)



Changes made on Assembly GOP team

The Assembly Republicans continued to change their budget team on Thursday, announcing another departure and the appointment of two new members to the powerful budget committee.  (Method, Courier-Post)



New congressional leadership positions have pluses and minuses for New Jersey

Republicans Scott Garrett and Rodney Frelinghuysen emerged as winners while Democrat Rush Holt lost the most clout in the New Jersey delegation when control of the House shifted between the two parties this month.  (Jackson, The Record)



Another assignment for Runyan

The freshman congressman was appointed to the Nature Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs.  (Levinsky, Burlington County Times)



New York pension pride: At least we’re not New Jersey!

It can be self-esteem enhancing to have an ugly friend. And for New York, that ugly friend is located just on the other side of the Hudson River.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Senate President Sweeney fears fallout over fight to repay tunnel money

Now that Gov. Chris Christie has filed a formal appeal of the $271 million bill the federal government sent the state for canceling a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, a prominent state lawmaker is concerned the federal government might withhold funds from other transportation areas to recoup money it says it’s owed.  (DeFalco for The Associated Press)



Democrats oppose Christie plan to privatize NJ toll collections

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-Union) Thursday said the lower house’s Democratic majority opposes Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to privatize toll collections along the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike and bump more than 850 tolltakers from the public payroll.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



N.J. bill aims to end nepotism at charter, public schools

School board president Gene Maeroff says he knows of a district where nepotism hiring is out of control.

That place would be Edison, he says, his own district, one of many that he says has a “notorious” reputation for hiring based on connections.  (Applebaum and Lee, The Star-Ledger)



Specialization or segregation? NJ’s first charter school for autistic children already faces challenges

Approved last week, the Forest Hill Charter School in Newark has received much attention as New Jersey’s first charter devoted entirely to students with autism. It was singled out by Gov. Chris Christie as part of a new generation of autonomous schools.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



School districts sitting on millions

Trenton and other cash-strapped school districts are sitting on millions of dollars of federal money, but they’ve been reluctant to spend it ahead of possible announcements of more state aid cuts by Gov. Chris Christie.  (Rinde, The Times of Trenton)



College president fires back at advisor to county executive

Bergen Community College President Jeremiah Ryan defended the college Thursday against what he described as “unfair attacks” from one of Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan’s top advisers.  (Gartland, The Record)



N.Y.-appointed Port Authority official is delighted to remain in post

Christopher Ward said he is “absolutely delighted” to remain executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.  (Strunsky, The Star-Ledger)



Plan to upgrade New Jersey jail into model for immigrant detention centers

For officials of Essex County, N.J., it promises to be a potential moneymaker in struggling Newark: a proposed upgrading and extension of the county jail so it would hold hundreds more immigrants than it does now.  (Semple, The New York Times)



As snow keeps falling, New Jersey snow budgets melting

Just like the snow, the bills for its removal keep piling up.

The state Department of Transportation had already blown through a $20 million budget for storm cleanup before this week’s foot-plus of snow hit the ground, officials said Thursday.  (Jordan, Daily Record)–New-Jersey-snow-budgets-melting



Report calls for Newark, JFK Airport expansions

A study commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey calls for major expansions at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports.  (The Associated Press)



From the Back Room



They’re gone – and that includes Calandriello

Each of the six Passaic Valley Sewerage commissioners in question officially resigned by close of business today as the Governor demanded.  As such, there will be no need for a ’cause’ hearing Monday.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



The pendulum train

When Gov. Jon Corzine was still king of the realm, Chris Christie denounced the chamber trip as a moral disaster on train tracks. Republicans stayed away in large numbers.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)






Schools need great managers at top

As I wrote here a couple of months ago in connection with the appointment of a non-academic chancellor for the New York City school system, heading a large organization such as that calls for hard-nosed managerial skills rather than a teaching background.  (Sullivan, The Record)



You can’t be both pro-life and anti-woman

Every year, there are March for Life rallies on or near the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 22, 1973, landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. In addition to a Washington, D.C., rally, smaller rallies are held across the country, usually near statehouses, to draw attention to the abortion issue.  (Doblin, The Record)



Who should be Newark’s next school superintendent?

Clifford B. Janey, Newark’s superintendent of schools, will be leaving his $280,000-a-year post in a few days. He has resigned the job he started in the summer of 2008 and effectively lost in September when the state, which runs Newark’s schools, told Janey his three-year contract would not be renewed when it expired.  (Whitlow, The Star-Ledger)



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 28, 2011