Morning News Digest: March 31, 2011



Morning News Digest: March 31, 2011


By Missy Rebovich

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Blocked by Rosenthal, Rice still shows up with map in pocket

State Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28), of Newark, tried to scratch out some face-time with redistricting tiebreaker Alan Rosenthal today, but staff for the Rutgers professor rebuffed Rice’s administrative analyst Lionel Leach.  (Carroll, PolitickerNJ)



Commission to vote at noon in the Statehouse

Sunday at high noon. In the Statehouse. That’s when the final vote on reapportionment will occur.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie to join Henry Kissinger at N.Y. fund-raiser to aid N.J. GOP

Governor Christie is joining foreign policy veteran Henry Kissinger for a New York City fundraiser on April 7.  (Megerian, The Record)



Christie’s attendance at National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising dinner nets $10M

Gov. Chris Christie’s appearance tonight at a Republican fundraising dinner has netted $10 million for the group that backs Congressional candidates across the country.  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



Poll: Christie among top 3 GOP contenders for presidency

Gov. Chris Christie, ever insistent that he will remain on the sidelines in the 2012 presidential election, continues to make noise in national polls.  (Method, Gannett)



Gov. Christie wouldn’t get more votes than President Obama in race for White House, poll says

Gov. Chris Christie would trail President Obama by six percentage points in a hypothetical national matchup, according to a poll released today.  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



U.S. Chamber of Commerce president: Chris Christie White House would be ‘exciting’

The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called Chris Christie “exciting” as a presidential prospect Wednesday, and said developer Donald Trump “wouldn’t be my choice” for the White House.  (Haberman, Politico)



Christie gains Democratic backers

The mayor of Union City, N.J., Brian Stack, is an old-style Democratic politician who distributes thousands of turkeys on Thanksgiving and presents at Christmas, and makes sure nobody in his town goes without heat. His slate won 92% of the vote in last year’s election.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Does Christie budget cut spending?  That depends…

Gov. Christie delivered a familiar message at a town-hall meeting in Hammonton on Tuesday when he told an admiring crowd, “We’re cutting spending again this year by 2.6 percent in the budget I proposed.”  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Christie expands plan to oversee regional authorities

Gov. Chris Christie proposes to eliminate pay for members of two independent commissions and subject the entities to state ethics rules and audits as part of a plan to gain veto power over more than two dozen regional authorities.  (Symons, Gannett)



Christie accelerates repeal of controversial early release program for N.J. inmates

Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday accelerated the repeal of a controversial early release program for prison inmates while also seeking to broaden the Parole Board’s discretion to review cases.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



State to freeholders: Aid cut to vocational school district is illegal

Gov. Chris Christie to the Ocean County Board of Freeholders: Do not reduce aid to your vocational school district.  (Larsen, Gannett)



Republicans’ proposed legislative district map also pits Democrats, Republicans against others of their party

The talk of the day has been on the Democrats’ proposed legislative redistricting plans, but a look at what the Republicans proposed today creates some interesting matchups.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



Fatal shooting of NJ officer revives death penalty debate

To state Sen. Robert W. Singer, it’s a way of ensuring justice for families of slain children, police officers and victims of mass murder.

To Sen. Raymond Lesniak, it’s something that will not deter those killings, or any others.  (Larsen, Gannett)



Assemblymen would limit Atlantic City High School’s sending-district cost

Local legislators are working on a plan that would reduce the amount neighboring districts would pay to send their children to Atlantic City High School.  (Lanau, Press of Atlantic City)



U.S. Sen. Lautenberg heads hearing on recommendations to improve safety of tour buses

Bernice Bennett prayed the whole way home.

On her trip back from a funeral in Virginia last month, the Jersey City woman had a white-knuckle ride on a discount bus to New York City.  (Frassinelli, The Star-Ledger)



Richard Stockton College bids on 2012 presidential debate

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey says it has formally bid to host one of the presidential or vice presidential debates in 2012.  (Symons, Gannett)



‘Rounds’ reveal PVSC job recommendations

Former Belleville Mayor Angelina Paserchia, who resigned from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission last month after Gov. Chris Christie threatened ethics charges against her, recommended at least 31 people for PVSC jobs, including one for her nephew and late son, according to a document obtained by the Times.  (Karidis, Belleville Times)



N.J. approves Parsippany schools budget, quietly drops effort against superintendent contract

If the new statewide salary cap for superintendents was a roadblock set up by Gov. Chris Christie to protect taxpayers, it appears LeRoy Seitz has navigated a successful detour.  (Goldberg, The Star-Ledger)



Standardized design for school construction: Cookie cutter or building blocks?

The standardization of school construction — the notion of choosing from a few standard design and construction models for classrooms or even whole buildings — is not new to the industry or even New Jersey.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Burgeoning solar sector helps push down clean energy costs

There are encouraging signs that New Jersey’s solar sector may be growing so rapidly that it is beginning to drive down the cost of clean energy.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



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DEP begins online coastal permit application process

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday launched a program that will allow property owners to apply online for certain coastal permits.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Larkins defends schools construction methodology

Mark Larkins, Schools Development Authority director, told the Joint Committee on Public Schools Wednesday that the school construction selection program “was not done in a vacuum.”  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Lawmakers react to early-release veto

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reacted Wednesday afternoon to the Christie veto of S2308, the early release bill.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Christie vetoes parole review, early release bill

Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed Senate Bill 2308, which would have increased the cycle from every 3 years to every 10 years of mandatory parole review, as well as a provision for early release.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Rice, Voss urge state government to get schools projects moving

Sen. Ronald Rice, (D-28), of Newark, said at Wednesday’s Joint Committee meeting on Public Schools that he believes the process of getting construction projects off the ground is taking too long.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Sources: Dems want Kean v. Singer

Sources on both sides of the aisle confirm that one matchup has survived at least one Democratic Party map alteration over the last 24 hours: a showdown between state Sen. Sean Kean (D-11) of Wall and state Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood).   (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Is this redistricting or settling scores?

The story line leaking out of the legislative redistricting negotiations Wednesday bore a faint resemblance to the score-settling climax of “The Godfather.”  (Stile, The Record)



In the school-funding game, Christie should punt

The legal fight over school funding in New Jersey has been going on for almost as long as the Super Bowl. And like Super Bowl games, the cases are referred to in Roman numerals. The big difference? Either team can win the Super Bowl. In the state Supreme Court, though, the Education Law Center  beats the governor every time.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Abbott rulings not in line with state Constitution

Read no further than the first 10 lines of the special master’s report on education spending to see where the problem lies. Over the years, judges have conveniently misquoted the state constitution. Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne, who was named special master by the state Supreme Court to look into school funding, demonstrates that.  (Ingle, Gannett)



This trouble’s too real for TV hubbies

Forget the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Our state has managed to produce something even more absurd.  (Kelly, The Record)





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Morning News Digest: March 31, 2011