Morning News Digest: May 12, 2011

Morning News Digest: May 12, 2011 By Missy Rebovich Try State Street Wire, Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text

Morning News Digest: May 12, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

Try State Street Wire, Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text “PNJ” to 89800 to receive alerts



Dems move convention from Tropicana to Bally’s

Set to have their annual convention in Atlantic City tomorrow and Friday, the Democratic State Committee plans to move the event from the Tropicana to Bally’s while the Tropicana negotiates with labor.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



North Hudson political shakeout

A victory last night in West New York by the self-funded Dr. Felix Roque may create an opportunity for Gov. Chris Christie to further antagonize Democrats in Hudson County, one of the opposition party’s classically important voter strongholds, sources say.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)




At forum, N.J. governor and others call for bipartisanship to end an education crisis

The nation’s education system is in crisis, and bipartisan support is essential for reform, a panel of leading experts said Wednesday. While disagreeing on key points, they said the time for action on education is now.  (Bohn, CNN)



Doherty pushes for equal fund distribution for New Jersey schools

State Sen. Michael Doherty Wednesday launched a legislative assault on the state Supreme Court for “hijacking” school funding decisions and unveiled a proposal to give every school district, regardless of need, the same state aid per student.  (Baxter, Today’s Sunbeam)



Schools must spend or lose millions by September

School districts in New Jersey have just a few more months to spend more than $200 million in federal stimulus money or return it to the federal government.  (D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City)




Few Assembly Democrats support Sweeney’s pension overhaul plan, sources say

With Senate President Stephen Sweeney set to rely on Republican votes to overhaul public employee benefits, the fate of the controversial plan may depend on whether Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver follows his lead.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)



Gov panned on women’s health budget

Blaming Gov. Chris Christie for the closing of six family planning centers in the past year, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg said she’s engaged in “an ongoing fight’’ to pressure New Jersey‘s Republican governor into adding $1 million for women’s health programs to the proposed state budget.  (Jordan, Gannett)



Women’s caucus pledges to fight for healthcare funding

It could have been a women’s rally from the 1960’s, with women massing at the Statehouse and calling for funds to protect healthcare and reproductive freedom for all women, regardless of income. Instead, it was a 2011 meeting called by female legislative leaders and the Women’s Political Caucus to address many of the same issues they fought for nearly five decades ago.  (Stainton, NJ Spotlight)



Two Atlantic County Republican assemblymen want to limit compensation to public workers who are also lawmakers

Two state lawmakers from Atlantic County want to limit pay and pension entitlement for legislators and other public officials.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



NJ businesses may be spared steep tax jump

New Jersey businesses would be spared a sudden major hike in unemployment taxes under legislation that calls for the increase to be phased in.  (The Associated Press)



N.J. mum on license changes

New Jersey officials can tell you all about why they introduced a new digital driver’s license with enhanced security features.  (Mulvihill, The Associated Press)



Potosnak declares run

Ed Potosnak, a Democrat whose 2010 campaign failed to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, plans to try again.  (Reed, Gannett)



LoBiondo will view photos of Osama bin Laden’s body this week

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, will be among select members of Congress who will view graphic photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse this week at the CIA headquarters.  (Landau, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. should adapt to state’s changing demographics: Census panel

When the Census released its first batch of New Jersey data earlier this year, the state’s demographic trends were consistent with the rest of the United States: A rising Hispanic population, a general migration to the state’s southern region and an exodus from traditional urban centers.  (de Vries, The Star-Ledger)



What Newark really thinks about its public schools

The din that seemed to surround Newark over the past few months made it hard to tell what New Jersey’s largest city thinks of its public schools. Community meetings have been raucous, to say the least, with no shortage of loud, angry voices.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Nine N.J. counties and cities share 5,000 to promote healthy activities, eating

Nine New Jersey counties and cities are sharing $135,000 to finance efforts to promote physical activity and healthier eating, state Acting Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd announced Wednesday.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Agency trying to unload seat licenses

A year after the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was harshly criticized by Governor Christie for its purchase of $840,000 worth of personal seat licenses for Giants and Jets games, the agency so far has sold just 14 of the 122 PSLs.  (Brennan, The Record)



White House’s invite to rapper draws criticism

In the song by the rapper Common, she is Assata Shakur, a black activist framed by the police.  (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



Judge to rule on Medford residency of ousted councilwoman

A Superior Court judge said he would decide Friday whether to reinstate a Medford councilwoman ousted in March after she moved out of the township during a contentious divorce.  (Hefler, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Oil CEOs head to hill for grilling by Senate Dems

Senate Democrats are calling top executives from the five biggest oil companies before a congressional hearing to flog them verbally for high gasoline prices, big profits and generous tax breaks that Democrats would like to end but don’t have the votes to stop.  (The Associated Press)



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Military assistance center in Bordentown among improvements at DMVA; budget stable

The Department of Military and Veteran Affairs has the same budget it had two years ago, so it was easy for Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, nine years the Adjutant General of New Jersey, to make his budget pitch before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Stender, Weinberg say health care funds must be restored

Sen. Loretta Weinberg, (D-37), Teaneck said the Legislature was able to pass with a veto-proof majority a measure to restore $7.5 million for women’s and family health care centers that had been cut.  (Mooney, State Street Wire)



Five New Jersey ERs among nation’s best

Five New Jersey hospitals have been named among the nation’s best for emergency care by HealthGrades, an independent hospital and healthcare rating firm.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)



Programs to help HIV patients at risk due to reduced finding, expert says

A woman on the front lines of the battle against HIV said at Wednesday’s roundtable discussion on women’s health care issues that HIV sufferers are at particular risk of going without care in today’s economy in which budgets are being cut.  (Mooney, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Two of three incumbents win in Robbinsville

Robbinsville council incumbents Christine Ciaccio and Rich Levesque won last night and David Boyne lost in Robbinsville.  (Staff, State Street Wire)






Opposed to high court, but keeping options open

Right-wingers have nothing but contempt for the New Jersey Supreme Court.  (Stile, The Record)



It’s time for towns to bite the bullet

One town may fire low-paid teachers’ aides. Another is laying off 11 percent of the municipal work force. Yet another is asking janitors and landscapers to come up with ways to save money.  (Kelly, The Record)



Christie sees public workers on a boat, on a boat, on a mother****ing boat

Yesterday Christie laid into Trenton Democrats for not cracking down on the practice of compensating workers for unused sick and vacation time. In some local governments, workers are allowed to bank those unused off days until retirement and cash them in at the rate tied to their current salary. That means a retiring public employee who did not use, say 10 sick days their first year on the job when they made $22,000 annually may be compensated upon retirement 30 years later at a rate tied to their final salary, say, $90,000.  (Roh, Gannett)

  Morning News Digest: May 12, 2011