Morning News Digest: May 16, 2011

Morning News Digest: May 16, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Winners and Losers: Week of May 9th

The bar started to fill up around 2 p.m. and liberaly liquored Dems took over.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Dems huddle up in AC for conference where Lautenberg denounces Christie as ‘king of the liars’

It’s always dangerous to do events in enormous rooms because when turnout is lighter than usual it shows, and yet with their numbers diminished in the 1970s décor of Bally’s Casino, Democrats clinked the silverware and tried to grin through the pain.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)


Unfair labor charges filed against Christie over health care bargaining

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) has filed unfair labor charges against Gov. Chris Christie’s administration with the Public Employment Relations Commission.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Governor Christie to talk global climate change with scientists

Gov. Chris Christie is going to get schooled on global climate change.

The Republican governor, who caused a stir when he told a town hall meeting he was unsure about the science of global warming, plans to sit down this week with a couple of climate change scientists recommended by the New Jersey Environmental Federation.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)


Chris Christie to speak at Seton Hall graduation despite mixed reviews as college speaker

Dane Cook, George Carlin and Steve Martin made their marks as comedians touring college campuses. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also speaks frequently at colleges. But even when Christie cracks a joke, some segments of students, faculty and administrators do not laugh.  (Jordan, Gannett)



Commuters feel pinch as Christie tightens

As a standard-bearer of fiscal conservatism, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey won over voters with his aggressive, no-excuses approach to taming budget problems and identifying the parties he held responsible for them. He has sparred with unions, cut spending and sworn off raising taxes, including the state’s low gasoline tax.  (McGeehan, The New York Times)



Assemblyman seeks to shift tax burden away from property

The tax on Kathleen Santomero’s two-bedroom house has doubled to more than $9,000 in a decade, and the Evesham resident knows it will only grow.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Big week in Van Drew’s fight to keep center open

Sen. Jeff Van Drew says not a day goes by that he isn’t trying something to stop the state from shuttering the Vineland Developmental Center.  (Funderburk, Gannett)



Local say for charters continues to dog proposed measures

With legislators next week slated to take up the issue of how New Jersey’s charter schools are approved and monitored, schools districts continue to press for a local vote on any new charter.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Growing shortage in New Jersey nursing

Major changes in healthcare delivery are on the horizon, and the ways in which they will ultimately affect patient care in New Jersey are still murky. But there are some things the experts do agree on: the current nursing workforce will be unable to meet the demands of healthcare reform, and we are likely looking at an enormous nursing shortage in the years ahead.  (Stainton, NJ Spotlight)



Fixing federal debt will cost you

The battle lines are forming in Congress over raising the federal debt limit this summer, with Republican leaders seeking changes to entitlements like Medicare while Democrats say tax increases must be part of any long-term fix.  (Jackson, The Record)



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Senators support appeal of FEMA denial

U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez Friday wrote to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the Christie Administration’s appeal of the agency’s denial of aid to victims of March flooding.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)



Unions look to Whelan, Pou; last garrison for benefit bargaining rights

Several union officials said the last stand for negotiated health care and pension benefits is being waged right now.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



‘Wining, dining’ at S. Jersey Port Corp. draws Christie veto

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the minutes of the South Jersey Port Corporation meeting held on April 26 for approving $3,036.80 in expenses, of which more than half was for “wining and dining.”  (Staff, State Street Wire)



GOP legislation aimed at Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae overhaul

The GOP today launched another attempt at remaking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Source: Rodriguez seat to be dormant

The 33rd District Assembly seat currently occupied by West New York Commissioner-elect Caridad Rodriguez will likely remain empty after Rodriguez relinquishes the seat to be sworn in as a local commissioner next Tuesday, a source close to the process told  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Christie picks generous GOP donor for sports authority

Governor Christie nominated Robert H. Harris, a pharmaceutical company executive from Monmouth County, to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority last week to replace scandal-plagued Joe Spicuzzo, the former Democratic Middlesex County chairman and sheriff.  (Stile, The Record)



State lawmakers should put taxpayers before special interests

Gov. Chris Christie insists that New Jerseyans will never be out from under the yoke of property taxes until a package of bills called his “tool kit” is passed by the Legislature and signed into law.  (Ingle, Gannett)



Law will make it easier for non-profits to find state information

It’s likely that charities will soon have an easy way to find out online how to apply for state funding, comply with contract requirements or even set up a non-profit under New Jersey law.  (Lipman, The Record)



In case you missed it



Christiephiliacs: Why GOP power brokers dream of New Jersey’s governor

Last October, Chris Christie went to Iowa. There, in a banquet hall outside Des Moines, the New Jersey governor captivated 700 Republican donors with tales of the beat-downs he’s delivered to his state’s Legislature and teachers union. After his speech, some attendees expressed their hope that Christie would next set his sights on the White House. “He just needs to get himself out here more,” one told me. But Christie hasn’t been back since — so now Iowa is coming to him. On May 31, a half dozen prominent Iowa Republicans will meet with Christie at the governor’s mansion in Princeton and try to persuade him to run for president.  (Zengerle, New York Magazine)



New Jersey an unlikely leader in U.S. solar energy

New Jersey, home to more industrial waste clean-up sites than any other state, is poised to become an exemplar of U.S. solar power usage — though not everyone is happy about it.  (Kaysen, Reuters)



Chris Christie applauds Mitt Romney’s ‘candor’

Mitt Romney earned a big political thumbs-up Friday from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who praised the former Massachusetts governor for talking straight with voters in his speech on health care.  (Burns, Politico)



Christie boasts of green record at N.J. Environmental Federation Conference in Newark

In a speech to the New Jersey Environmental Federation Conference today in Newark, Gov. Chris Christie touted his green accomplishments and his honesty with environmental advocates since being sworn into office 16 months ago.  (Calefati, The Star-Ledger)



People and Power: Christie, Democrats use metaphors to make points in school funding battle

With Gov. Chris Christie continuing to wait for the state Supreme Court to rule on the state’s school funding mandate, he and his opponents have been using a flurry of education metaphors to make their points.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



N.J. arts council becomes the object of Lt. Gov. Guadagno’s ire

Lawmakers in Trenton go for years and never hear a peep from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  (McGlone, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. leaders support bin Laden photo ban

After viewing images of a deceased Osama bin Laden, South Jersey’s U.S. representatives said Friday the White House was correct not to make the “gruesome” photographs public.  (Roh, Gannett)



New Jersey bill to aid domestic violence victims advances

Lawmakers in New Jersey have advanced a measure that would help protect domestic violence victims from being wrongfully evicted or denied housing.  (Shipkowski, The Associated Press)



Financial disclosure requirements for N.J. lawmakers fall short of federal standards

New Jersey lawmakers and many executive branch employees are submitting financial disclosure forms this week, an annual event that lets constituents see some information about their earnings, investments, properties and sources of personal income.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



New Jersey awards millions in tax breaks to North Jersey companies

The state Economic Development Authority approved corporate tax breaks totaling more than $16 million Friday to five North Jersey companies and a New York business thinking of moving here.  (Morley, The Record)



Closing Vineland Developmental Center would affect the community beyond job loss and displaced residents

William Hemphill’s daughter, Barbara Judith, has lived at the Vineland Developmental Center for 38 of her 50 years. She can’t walk or communicate in any way. Hee father knows the best place for her is at the center, where she is surrounded by caring employees who know her better than anyone.  (Landau, Press of Atlantic City)



Both parties seek changes to costly New Jersey sick time system, differ on solution

If every county and municipal employee in Gloucester County were to retire tomorrow, the taxpayers would be on the hook for more than $19.2 million Ð money owed to those workers for unused sick days they’ve been saving up for years.  (Beym, Gloucester County Times)



Taking a stance on topics like evolution, illegal immigration could carry political risk for Christie

It’s an intimate story Gov. Chris Christie tells. Hours from her death in a St. Barnabas hospital room, his mother gripped his hand and said: “There’s nothing left unsaid between us.”  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



Roque is out conferring, Vega is mostly out of sight: Political Insider

West New York Commissioner-elect Dr. Felix Roque and his victorious running mates will be sworn in on Tuesday and a more public celebration will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. The problem is that they expect several thousand people and the Town Hall is too small. They are looking at a possible outdoor venue.  (Torres, The Jersey Journal)



Birth mothers tell their stories to fight for N.J. adoption bill

Growing up in Union Township 50 years ago, Valerie Drabyk said she was the kind of student who always earned solid grades, and the kind of daughter who went to church and never disobeyed her parents.  (Livio, The Star-Ledger)


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