Morning News Digest: February 22, 2011

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Three Republicans seek early support in three key legislative districts

They may prove to be pointless after redistricting realigns the state map or KO victims of primaries depending on how ginned up grassroots operations are this year, but three potential general election contests have emerged early as Republicans crave Senate control.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Wisconsin unions to attend rally in New Jersey

A fight for collective bargaining rights will come to the steps of the Statehouse this Friday as a furious clan of Wisconsin workers travels to New Jersey.   (Santoriello, PolitickerNJ)



For Christie, ailing economy at home may test his allure

In a year as governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has captivated conservatives across the nation, with an in-your-face frankness and nonstop aggressiveness that few have seen from a chief executive.  (Pérez-Peña and Halbfinger, The New York Times)



Christie budget to cut business taxes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will lay out his fiscal vision for the coming year when he delivers his second budget address today.  (The Associated Press)|head



Neither Christie nor Democrats show sign of budget compromise

Gov. Chris Christie will unveil his proposed 2011-12 state budget before a joint session of the Legislature at 2 p.m. Tuesday and, to paraphrase Betty Davis’ memorable line in the classic movie, “All About Eve,” fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy four months.”  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Christie’s budget address may kick off rocky stretch for Governor, Democrats

Gov. Chris Christie will unveil a state budget today, after months of saying he plans to cut business taxes, revamp school aid, reform pension and health benefits for public workers and bring back some property tax relief.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)



New Jersey mayors hold their breath over state budget

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has built a national reputation as a fiscal conservative, but New Jersey mayors say they worry a $10.5 billion budget gap will be closed at their expense.

Christie, a Republican, will give his second annual budget address on Tuesday afternoon. Political experts say voters should expect tough reductions in services because Christie has vowed not to raise taxes.  (Honan, Reuters)



Found in translation: Christie’s other budget address

If you want to know what will be in Governor Chris Christie’s budget speech Tuesday, it may be a good idea to just read between the lines – the lines of the address he gave to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday.  (Magyar, NJ Spotlight)



Christie’s confrontations put conservatives in awe

Every time Gov. Chris Christie plays another round of smash-mouth politics with New Jersey’s public-sector unions, conservative voters across the country lead the cheers.  (Hallow, The Washington Times)



Cuts in state payments to municipalities for open space could devastate small-town budgets

The rural communities of southern New Jersey anxiously wait to see Gov. Chris Christie’s budget this week as many fear the complete cutting of aid money that compensates them for their preserved open space.  (Procida, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. unions to rally in support of Wis. workers

New Jersey labor unions are planning a State House rally on Friday to show their support for the Wisconsin public employees fighting to protect bargaining rights.  (Jordan, Courier-Post)



Christie’s business-friendly posture starting to produce positive results

Amid statewide glimpses of economic growth, a campaign to create a more business-friendly climate has not missed Central Jersey.  (Burd, Gannett)



Today’s the last day for Gov. Christie to sign saltwater fishing registry, Internet gaming bills

Southern New Jersey fishermen had expected to see a state law to create a new registry for saltwater fishers to take effect this past weekend.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Administration argues that federal stimulus has helped offset school aid cuts

Gov. Chris Christie makes his case today for how he will fund New Jersey’s public schools. Yesterday, the administration’s lawyers made their case that last year’s cuts were not as deep as decried. Indeed, they argued that budgets in urban districts could still be cut further.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Bill targets misuse of emergency lights

Legislators are crafting a measure that would impose stricter penalties for the misuse of blue emergency lights.  (Levinsky, Burlington County Times)






The rise and decline of the NJEA

In 1991, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the state teachers’ union, reached the zenith of its power.  The NJEA opposed the teacher pension funding reforms proposed by the then Governor Jim Florio and therefore endorsed most 1991 Republican candidates for the state Senate and Assembly.  (Steinberg, PolitickerNJ)



Raiders of the lost ARC: Stop them before they toll again

When Nick Sacco got up on the floor of the state Senate last week and intoned, “No tunnel; no toll increase,” he set the stage for what promises to be yet another extremely amusing fight over the next state budget.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Christie loses weight, readies budget

Trenton is feeling the calm before the storm right now — and not just because of the snowstorm supposedly on our way. (The gov says you can never trust weather forecasters anyway, because they lack accountability, like teachers).  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Broken promises: Newark school plan kept many in the dark

For months, Newark parents, teachers and students have been attending
meetings and filling out survey forms because they were told that
education reform was coming to Newark and widespread community
participation is essential for making educational change work.  (Whitlow, The Star-Ledger)



In 2000, PolitickerNJ emerged on the political stage, changing how New Jersey’s power elite receive their daily political fix. Starting on March 1, 2011, we’re shaking up Trenton once again. Stay tuned for State Street Wire.

Morning News Digest: February 22, 2011