Morning News Digest: February 9, 2011

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


***Tell us what you think! Click here to take the PolitickerNJ Reader Survey***


Passaic Valley Water Commissioner welcomes investigation

A member of the Passaic Valley Water Commission today gave the thumbs-up sign to a full cavity search of the commission on which she serves and of the North District Water Supply Commission.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Christie vetoes offshore natural gas project

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a plan Tuesday for a project 16 miles off the coast of Asbury Park to receive vessels transporting liquid natural gas into the United States.  (Mooney, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie’s first year viewed as a success by N.J.

As a reward for completing what the majority see as a successful first year in office, New Jerseyans have a star sticker for Gov. Chris Christie’s forehead.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Poll finds support for Christie; property taxes still a concern

So far, so good, but property taxes had better come down soon.

That’s the message New Jerseyans have for Gov. Chris Christie, according to the latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media poll.  (Mullen, New Jersey Press Media)



Gov. Christie shows support for legislation requiring newly hired N.J. public workers to live in-state

An effort to require most newly hired public workers to live in New Jersey appears on its way to becoming law.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Commission’s report pinpoints ways N.J. county prosecutor offices could share services

A commission studying New Jersey’s system of county prosecutors will release a report today calling for increased cooperation and state support to ease the financial burden of criminal prosecutions on counties, according to three officials with knowledge of the report.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. spends $122M to partially terminate interest-rate swap deals in past month

New Jersey spent more than $122 million last month to partially terminate eight interest-rate swap deals, once billed as a way to save taxpayers’ money only to backfire when the economy spiraled downward.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)



State warns of tax refund loans

New Jersey officials are warning taxpayers about businesses that falsely advertise a financial product when they promote instant or same-day tax refunds.  (Diamond, New Jersey Press Media)



New Jersey schools to see more budget cuts

As officials in Gov. Chris Christie’s administration prepare New Jersey’s next state budget, school superintendents and school board members are bracing for another difficult budget year.  (Symons, Daily Record)



***Tell us what you think! Click here to take the PolitickerNJ Reader Survey***



New Jersey lawmakers say creating Veterans Affairs hospital task force a bipartisan effort

A Republican senator from Ocean County and a Democratic senator from Cape May County said it took coordination and cooperation from both parties to advance legislation that will make it easier for southern New Jersey’s military veterans to get health care closer to home.  (Spahr, Press of Atlantic City)



Christie blasts law to pay cable TV bills

Gov. Chris Christie called a 5-year-old law designed to help low-income senior citizens and disabled people pay their cable TV bills “a dumb idea,” saying there was no way the state can afford it in such dire economic times.  (Livio for The Associated Press)



Christie enacts law allowing windmills on piers along New Jersey coast, including on Steel Pier in Atlantic City

Piers along the New Jersey shore may soon hum with wind turbines, generating kilowatts of power and possible profits for their owners thanks to a new state law.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Politics and the OSA pilot program

As the proposed Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA) gains momentum in the Statehouse, political considerations as much as educational ones may end up determining which districts fall under the controversial plan.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Big casino project back from dead

The Revel casino development in Atlantic City, N.J., is nearing completion of a deal for $1.15 billion in capital with help from the state that will allow the once-doomed project to be finished.  (Berzon, The Wall Street Journal)



No rate relief in sigh for NJ power customers

It appears New Jersey and other states will get no relief from the courts over a much criticized pricing system that adds more than $1 billion a year to customers’ electric bills.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



NJ state workers no longer have Lincoln’s birthday off

New Jersey state government has long shut down on Lincoln’s Birthday, making this one of only five states to use a holiday to honor the 16th president.  (Jordan, Gannett)



Amended budget defeated

A proposed city budget that would have brought back several laid off police officers and firefighters and raised the city’s tax levy by 23 percent was soundly defeated by City Council Tuesday night.  (Murray, Courier-Post)



From the Back Room



LaRue to retire from Rutgers

Rutgers Vice President for Public Affairs Jeannine LaRue has announced she will retire from the post at the end of the month.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



***Tell us what you think! Click here to take the PolitickerNJ Reader Survey***



Cooper Levinson pulls out of Trenton

Citing the deleterious effect of a $50,000 legal services contract on Mayor Tony Mack and the City of Trenton, Cooper Levinson has pulled out of Trenton, according to the mayor’s office.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Map-making a political contest

It is something that happens, mostly out of sight, every ten years. The 40 New Jersey legislative districts are redrawn to reflect population changes.  (Ahearn, The Record)



Critics who bad-mouthed Christie over tunnel now support new plan

While there is disagreement on how much time constitutes a generation, Gov. Chris Christie says he knows exactly — three months. That’s how long it took his loudmouth critics to support a new plan for a tunnel under the Hudson linking New Jersey to Manhattan.  (Ingle, Courier-Post)



Hope returns to jobs horizon for new college graduates

When they entered college in the fall of 2007, members of the Class of 2011 were optimistic and hopeful. The national unemployment rate was only 4.7 percent, job prospects were strong, home values were rising and another banner holiday sales season was just around the corner.  (White, NJBIZ)



Christie’s enviro policy isn’t drilling, it’s blowin’ in the wind

If Christie drove environmentalists crazy last November when he expressed “skepticism” that global warming is caused by human beings, than they may be heartened to hear that he has blocked gas drilling off the Jersey Shore.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



As the state turns: Christie gets cozy with casino

Just when I thought I had Chris Christie figured out, the Garden State Austerity King goes all-in on, of all things, gambling.

The governor cries poor, then bets $261 million in tax breaks on a single Atlantic City casino’s ability to revive a dying casino town? That makes about as much sense as playing just one cent on penny slots. Cue the stares, hold the jackpot.  (Kinney, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



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 9, 2011