Morning News Digest: May 10, 2011

Morning News Digest: May 10, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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A Hudson test for Menendez in WNY

Tomorrow’s West New York mayoral election pits incumbent Silverio “Sal” Vega against challenger Felix Roque in what represents a local test for powerhouse U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who’s due for his own re-election bid in 2012.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Republican Linker running for U.S. Senate

Ian Linker of Ridgewood filed today to run for the U.S. Senate against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Sacco v. Stack

Observers here credit operative Thom Ammirato with dredging up some op research on incumbent Mayor Nick Sacco and crafting a message for a slate of long-shot challengers, but few doubt the ability of a guy named Kreutzer to focus the charge of the town’s so-called dispossessed Latinos, who make up 57% of the population.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie signs legislation abolishing mandatory early release parole

Without hesitation Monday, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that puts an end to the New Jersey prison system’s mandatory early release parole program, a law the governor initially sought to end 10 months ago on the prediction that it would put public safety at risk.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Christie left at the station

Last fall, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie canceled a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel—one of the region’s largest infrastructure projects—and passed up billions in federal money.  (Fleisher and Grossman, The Wall Street Journal)



Christie: Lewis ‘too sensitive’

Gov. Chris Christie said he told Carl Lewis he wouldn’t work with him on an athletics program if he ran for a state Senate seat and that the athlete’s reaction may show he’s “too sensitive” for politics.  (DeFalco, The Associated Press)



Carl Lewis to appear in U.S. District Court in continuing attempt to run for N.J. state Senate

One of the world’s most decorated Olympic athletes is heading back to federal court in New Jersey hoping to secure his place on the November election ballot.  (The Associated Press)



Chris Christie Iowa recruiters say ‘it’s nothing against the rest’

The key organizers behind the Iowa mission to recruit Chris Christie to run for president said Monday that their efforts aren’t a rejection of the existing field.  (Jacobs, Des Moines Register)



Lone pitch to New Jersey’s Christie will come from Iowa

An upcoming visit by a team of Iowa Republicans who want to recruit Chris Christie to run for president is the only scheduled meeting between the New Jersey governor and leaders from the nation’s early-decision states.  (Jacobs, Gannett)



N.J. bill to move primary to June advances

The New Jersey Assembly has approved a measure to switch the state’s 2012 presidential primary to June from February. The Legislature moved the presidential primary to February six years ago, hoping the state would gain more influence in presidential politics.  (The Associated Press)



N.J. mail-in balloting changes go to Christie

Legislation to allow New Jersey voters to request mail-in ballots for all future general elections is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill was approved Monday by the General Assembly.  (The Associated Press)



Assembly approves residency legislation

A bill that would require future public employees to live in New Jersey has gone to Gov. Chris Christie.  (Gannett)



Assembly approves suicide-hotline bill

The state Assembly has passed a bill that would require the Department of Children and Families to formulate a youth suicide prevention program.  (New Jersey Press Media)



New Jersey Assembly sends bill allowing military and National Guard members to pay less for beach tags to governor

Military personnel and members of the state’s National Guard could pay less for beach badges this summer under a bill approved Monday.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. Assembly unanimously passes bill that would suspend licenses of doctors who dump illegally

Doctors who illegally dump medical waste would get their license suspended for three years, in addition to a fine, under legislation unanimously approved in the Assembly today.  (Spoto, The Star-Ledger)



Business tax bill OK’d in Assembly

A bill that would slow the rising of unemployment fund taxes for businesses passed the Assembly Monday by a 76-0 vote.  (Gannett)



Christie gets bill on deaths of police dogs

New Jersey lawmakers have approved a bill to impose stiffer penalties for killing a police dog. The measure calls for a minimum five-year prison term and a fine of up to $15,000. Current law calls for a three-to-five-year term.  (The Associated Press)



Education chief seeks changes to teachers’ certification

The state’s acting education commissioner, Christopher Cerf, told a Senate panel Monday he wants to revamp teacher certification so the process is based more on student learning.  (Method, Gannett)



Growing tensions over charter schools

How much should local school districts have a say about the presence of charter schools in their midst?  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Senator seeks vote on charter schools

State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Barbara Buono said Monday she wanted voters in school districts to have the ability to reject proposed charter schools.  (Method, Gannett)|topnews|text|State



DuBois named to Education Task Force

Furthering his commitment to bold education reform, Gov. Chris Christie has appointed a diverse group of New Jerseyans to serve on the Education Transformation Task Force.  (Staff, Today’s Sunbeam)



Bill would give adult adoptees access to records

Adults who were adopted, as well as their adoptive parents and adult descendents, would gain access to their original birth certificates, if a bill given final legislative approval Monday by the Assembly is signed into law.  (Symons, Gannett)|topnews|text|State



Amtrak to receive $800M from canceled Florida rail project to increase N.J. train speed, upgrade electrical system

By 2050, America will be home to 100 million additional people — the equivalent of another California, Texas, New York and Florida combined, the nation’s top transportation official says.  (Frassinelli, The Star-Ledger)



Ocean Spray cites tax for move

Sen. Diane Allen said Monday a market-based emissions cap was to blame for Ocean Spray’s decision to leave Burlington County after 68 years.  (Roh, Gannett)



Sears reportedly considering relocating to New Jersey, other states

Sears is reportedly considering several states, including New Jersey, to relocate its headquarters from Hoffman Estates, Ill., where it moved to cut costs in 1992 when it left the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago.  (Portlock, The Star-Ledger)



A.C. airport added jobs and revenue, study says

Atlantic City International Airport has added 850 jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues to the region over the last three years, according to a study released Monday.  (Parry, The Associated Press)



Americans for Prosperity claims greenhouse gas initiative will drive up cost of electricity

The Northeast, including New Jersey, enjoys a long history of working together to deal with air pollution, from cooperating on a regional initiative to reduce smog, to enacting rules to usher in a fleet of cleaner-running vehicles, to taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Police dept. in Newark is facing U.S. inquiry

The Justice Department is investigating claims that brutality, baseless searches, intimidation and false arrests are commonplace in the Newark Police Department, officials announced on Monday.  (Pérez-Peña, The New York Times)



Senior urged to lobby for tax rebates

Cuts to a state property tax rebate and tenant relief program discriminate against the state’s most vulnerable residents, while the state requires no such sacrifices from lucrative corporations and the “super-rich,” representatives of two community groups said Monday.  (Akin, The Record)



N.J. slipping back on preschool progress

Holding a magnifying glass, 5-year-old Travis Jenkins observed an army of ants marching up a hill in a plastic-encased ant farm. Other containers held spiders and several dead bees, as well as caterpillars that would spin cocoons and in a few weeks transform into butterflies.  (Delaney, Gannett)



N.J. will aid unemployed homeowners at risk for foreclosure

New Jersey homeowners who have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their mortgages can get no-interest loans from the state under a program announced Monday.  (Lynn, The Record)



Calabria named Parsippany school board president

Morris County’s second longest-serving active school board member is the new president of the Parsippany board of education.  (Jennings, Gannett)|head



Four more towns talk trash with their neighbors

Four additional towns have signed onto a landmark cooperative-purchasing alliance aimed at driving down the cost of municipal trash disposal.  (Cooney, Gannett)




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Christie signs repeal of early release law

Gov. Chris Christie today wasted no time in signing the bill repealing the statutory early release parole program. The Senate had passed the bill recently and the Assembly passed it Monday.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Assembly resolution: Increase economic pressure to thwart Iran’s nuclear goals

The continued problem of U.S. companies managing to conduct business with Iran spurred state lawmakers to pass a resolution Monday.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Guadagno’s spills during budget testimony

Legislative sources say Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno overstepped her bounds during testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, disclosing information about investigations into the awarding of no-bid contracts by the New Jersey Council on the Arts.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)



Van Drew wants DEP to avoid fines connected to anglers registry

Sen. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1) of Cape May, has called on state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner (DEP) Bob Martin to stop plans to charge residents an initial fine of as much as $3,000 for failing to register with the new free state fishing registry, the product of a bill he sponsored.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Rodriguez slowed on the campaign trail

Sources in West New York said Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez (D-33), who’s running for a West New York commission seat, was out of commission these two days, apparently sick and unable to make the campaign trail.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Governor Christie’s presidential denials taking a different tone

Governor Christie still rules out a run for president. But now he strikes a more humble tone when the question comes up,

“How self-important would one have to be to become tired and annoyed by having people ask you to run for president?” Christie said in a Monday interview with a Philadelphia radio station. “I’m a kid from Jersey who has people asking him to run for president, I’m thrilled by it. I just don’t want to do it.”  (Stile, The Record)



Controversial early release program dead

The Assembly voted to end the controversial early release program and since the Senate did so before, the bill went directly to Gov. Christie Monday who signed it into law long before the sun went down. “From a public policy and public safety point of view, the statutory early release law was a disaster,” Christie said.  (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: May 10, 2011