Morning News Digest: March 29, 2011



Morning News Digest: March 29, 2011


By Missy Rebovich

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Sweeney health plan would save $206 million after 7 years

A health benefits reform bill introduced by Senate President Steve Sweeney would save the state $206.2 million once it is fully phased in, according to an analysis of the bill by the Office of Legislative Services.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Dems head behind closed doors with Rosenthal and ‘map’

They have these little coffee bars at the Heldrich – one for the Republicans on one end of the floor and one for the Democrats down the hall and the doors open on one side and disgorge the D Team.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Republican senators dismayed that Treasurer’s appearance before budget panel postponed

Two GOP senators expressed disappointment Monday that Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff’s appearance before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee was postponed.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Mitt Romney donates $25,000 to N.J. GOP

Governor Christie’s campaign to carve out Republican majorities in the Legislature just got a helping hand from Mitt Romney, who pitched in with a $25,000 donation to the state Republican Party.  (Rizzo, The Record)



Governor Chris Christie to meet with local residents at town hall meeting today in Hammonton

Gov. Chris Christie will field questions from residents of Atlantic County and other area communities during an afternoon town hall meeting here today, the first time he has held such a meeting in the region in more than a year in office.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



New Jersey budget official predicts growth in state revenue

State revenue should grow by $1.1 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, despite high unemployment and a slow economic recovery.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



NJ tax revenue to be $4 billion below 2008 level

New Jersey’s tax revenue for the coming $29.4 billion state budget will grow slightly, but still end up $4 billion less than three years ago, a nonpartisan analyst said Monday.  (Method, Daily Record)|head



Abbot v. Burke: Not simply about poor, inner-city school districts

“Below adequacy.” It’s not a pleasant phrase, but it could prove to be a critical one as the state Supreme Court weighs what to do next in New Jersey’s ongoing debate over the Abbott v. Burke school funding case.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



NJ may withdraw from emissions-reduction effort

An environmental group has ratcheted up its criticism of Gov. Chris Christie — this time because the governor says he is contemplating withdrawing New Jersey from a regional regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  (Jordan, Asbury Park Press)



In New Jersey, waterfront access continues to breed controversy

It has helped build parks and provide waterfront access in some of the state’s most densely populated and industrialized areas, but seldom has an issue generated so much controversy.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Englewood Democrats make primary picks

The Democratic Municipal Committee has selected Mark Forman and Eugene Skurnick as its 1st and 3rd ward candidate picks in the June primary.  (Fabiano, The Record)



Parsipanny school board member drops bid to rescind superintendent’s controversial contract

The Board of Education member who tried four times to rescind Superintendent LeRoy Seitz’s disputed contract is dropping any future efforts following an apparent retreat by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.  (Jennings, Daily Record)|head



Camden school tax levy gains approval

The levy portion of a budget that will move some students into better buildings and bring police into the schools was approved Monday night by the Camden Board of Estimate.  (Giordano, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



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Christie partially vetoes UEZ Authority minutes

Gov. Chris Christie today exercised his veto authority to guard against potentially wasteful or unnecessary spending by partially rejecting the minutes of the March 9 meeting of the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority in connection with $45,700 in promotional and entertainment-related expenses for the Long Branch UEZ.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



N.J. senators announce funding to investigate and enforce fair housing laws

U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced funding today to investigate and enforce fair housing laws in New Jersey.    (Staff, State Street Wire)



SDA priorities will again be questioned at hearing set at Trenton High School

The city high school will become ground zero Wednesday for the ongoing battle that features Schools Development Authority chief Marc Larkins, the SDA’s schools construction priorities, and Democrats displeased with how projects have been prioritized.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Verniero named special counsel as Christie administration battles education funding findings in court

A former state attorney general who also served on the state Supreme Court will join the Christie administration’s continuing battle over the way it funds education.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room 



Ready for Rice

Some of the buzz here at the Helfrich Hotel in New Brunswick is in response to the imminent news that state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28) of Newark plans to release his own redistricting map.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Gala raises $1M for Cooper

The Cooper Foundation raised more than $1 million Saturday at the first-ever Cooper Red Hot Gala, Chairman of the Board of the Cooper University Hospital George E. Norcross, III announced.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Christie an unwanted distraction for meeting

Governor Christie, who thrives on the thrust and parry with the press, dodged reporters Sunday night, his face a mixture of fatigue, contempt and disappointment.  (Stile, The Record)



How Christie set himself up for a fall

The fight over school funding in New Jersey has been going on for almost four decades now. It’s gone on so long that the episodes are given Roman numeral’s like the Super Bowl. We’re at Abbott XX.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Assessing the fault lines on Libya

The pace of major global news events in 2011 has been dizzying. It’s no wonder Americans are confused about where their elected leaders fall on the U.S. military mission in Libya, which President Obama is expected to clarify in an address to the nation tonight.   (Roh, Courier-Post)



Verniero’s baaaaack! Do you recall him?

Peter Verniero, who has been Gov. Christie Whitman’s personal attorney, chief counsel, chief of staff, attorney general and Supreme Court justice, has been hired by the state Attorney General’s Office he used to run.  (Ingle, Gannett)



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Morning News Digest: March 29, 2011