Morning News Digest: May 24, 2011

Morning News Digest: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Romney wins Cinnaminson Prez straw poll

Cinnaminson Republicans narrowly picked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president tonight in a Straw Poll conducted Monday evening, followed by Gov. Chris Christie as his preferred running mate by a large margin.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Governor angered by lack of attendance at delegation meeting

A sparsely attended congressional delegation meeting this morning irritated Gov. Chris Christie, according to sources.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Smith to hold hearing on international child abduction

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4) will host a hearing Tuesday to listen to “left behind parents” –parents whose spouses have taken their children overseas.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



School-funding decision to be released Tuesday

The state Supreme Court is widely expected today to order New Jersey to spend hundreds of million of dollars, or more, on local public schools.  (Method, Gannett)



Five justices, many questions

The New Jersey Supreme Court will issue today its 21st ruling in the long-running Abbott v. Burke school equity case, with the decision set to be posted on the court’s website at 10 a.m.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Gov. Chris Christie remains adamant about not running for president

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ announcement this weekend that he isn’t running for president once again revved up Republican talk that Gov. Chris Christie should jump into the race.  (Gibson, The Star-Ledger)



Andrews pushes to keep rail funds

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., said Monday he is trying to persuade U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to permit New Jersey to keep federal funds owed from a canceled rail project.  (Roh, Gannett)



Senate passes women’s health care funding bill

The state Senate passed — but fell short by one vote of a veto-proof majority — a bill to restore $7.4 million in women’s health care funding to New Jersey’s budget.  (Schoonejongen, Gannett)|head



Christie eyes lower income limit for Medicaid eligibility

Gov. Christie plans to seek approval for a proposal that would deny Medicaid coverage to adults in a family of four with an annual household income of little more than $6,000, down from the current $30,000.  (Katz and Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



From Medicaid to managed care: The Christie Administration’s plan to slash NJ healthcare costs

Theodora, a 20-year-old Summit resident, is unable to walk, talk or eat on her own. With a tracheotomy that requires careful cleaning and constant monitoring, she even needs help to breathe.  (Stainton, NJ Spotlight)



Assembly Education Committee approves bill requiring charter schools to win voter approval

A bill that would require charter schools to win voter approval in their communities was voted out of the Assembly Education Committee today, after a number of charter school advocates testified that requiring a referendum could divide communities and doom some schools.  (Rundquist, The Star-Ledger)



For charter school bills – an easy time in Committee, a tough time in the Assembly?

Four bills that would revamp how charter schools are reviewed and approved in New Jersey won easy passage yesterday in a key Assembly committee.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey Senate approves bill on coordinated coastal evacuations

The state Senate approved a bill Monday to require coastal counties in southern New Jersey to draft coordinated emergency evacuation plans for residents.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Tunnel not killed to finance trust fund

The canceled Hudson River “Access to the Region’s Core” rail tunnel project was not scuttled to free up funding to help keep the state’s Transportation Trust Fund fiscally afloat for the next five years, said Transportation Commissioner James Simpson.  (Higgs, Gannett)



New Jersey AFL-CIO wants conventions to boycott Tropicana until contract dispute is settled

The New Jersey AFL-CIO is urging conventions to boycott Tropicana Casino and Resort until the gaming hall reaches a new contract agreement with three trade unions.  (Wittkowski, Press of Atlantic City)



Environmentalists unhappy with Highlands Council new members

The Highlands Water and Protection Council is getting a lot of new faces on the panel, but not many that the state’s environmental community would like to see.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey residents express skepticism over proposed new regulations for public beach access

New Jersey residents and environmental groups sparred with mayors and business groups Monday over how much control towns should have over public access to beaches.  (Lederman, Press of Atlantic City)



Census shows more moved out of NJ than into state

Nearly 190,000 residents fled New Jersey for other states in 2009, accelerating a trend that has seen tens of thousands leave the Garden State in the past decade.  (Mike, Gannett)



GOP insiders: 2012 field is set

High-level Republican leaders tell POLITICO that they now believe the top tier of the presidential field is set, and that no major donors or operatives will remain on the sidelines hoping a dream candidate will make a last-minute entry.  (Allen and Ball)


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Senate wrap: Disability tax, nonprofit database, and school kid surveys

Along with the hot topic bills like family planning, tax refunds, and background checks for Boards of Education, the state Senate handled some other business on Monday afternoon.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Highlands nominees approved

The Senate approved two Highlands Council nominees, 25-10, with bipartisan compliance issues rendered moot due to a recent resignation from the Highlands Council.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Post-veto, school board background checks move out of Senate

Having taken the recommendation of a conditional veto into account, the state Senate approved A444 today, in its second tour of the chambers.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Jobless benefits notification, contraband tobacco bills pass Senate

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would require employers to include on their unemployment benefits packages to departing employees information about the “time sensitivity” for filing such claims.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Jr., 1916-2011

The N.Y. Times is reporting that former Congressman Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Jr., 95 years old, died on Monday at his home in Harding Twp.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Good day for politics, bad day for the poor

It was a lousy day for thousands of New Jersey’s poorest women who depend on Planned Parenthood clinics for breast cancer screening, HIV/AIDS testing or prenatal care.  (Stile, The Record)



Hey governor, what happened to those middle-class rebates?

On a recent trip to Florida, I got to chatting with a couple of retirees as we gazed out at the blue waters of the Gulf. One guy told me he lived in a two-bedroom condo within walking distance of the water. I asked him how much he paid in property taxes. He told me that he qualified for a senior-citizen exemption and his taxes were a mere $280 a year.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



Christie opts for recital over press club roast

Anyone missing a club meeting runs the risk of being elected secretary, the old warning goes. Gov. Chris Christie is the first sitting governor to miss the New Jersey Legislative Correspondents’ Club show since Jon Corzine did in 2007. Christie wasn’t elected secretary, but the start of his week did not go so well.  (Ingle, Gannett)|newswell|text|Politics|p

  Morning News Digest: May 24, 2011