Morning News Digest: May 26, 2011

Morning News Digest: Thursday, May 26, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Challenger Dunn campaigns in hometown of Hillside against Lesniak

Scuffed up by headlines questioning how his organization raises money but hardly projecting anything other than friendly goodwill, Jerome Dunn walked up Belleview Avenue in his hometown in the early evening with two weeks to go before Election Day.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Gov. Christie charged with showing ‘selective outrage’ in ignoring Elizabeth school board scandal

State Democratic chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski Wednesday charged that Gov. Chris Christie is showing selective outrage and a double standard by remaining silent about a Elizabeth Board of Education scandal that includes eight of the members who endorsed him for governor.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



‘Battle’ is on over how to fund schools

Lawmakers are setting out on a possible collision course over spending, facing a $500 million bill from the state Supreme Court for the state’s poor school districts, with six weeks left to crank out a budget.  (Gibson and Megerian, The Star-Ledger)



Caution follows ruling ordering Christie to come up with education aid for low-income districts

A day after the state Supreme Court ordered New Jersey to come up with $500 million in additional education aid for 31 largely urban, low-income districts, some that stand to be on the receiving end were regarding the news with a note of caution.  (Giordano and Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



New Jersey Legislature has five weeks to find $500 million for poorest schools

New Jersey lawmakers have five weeks to find an additional $500 million for urban education that the Supreme Court has ordered the state to pay in the upcoming school year.  (Delli Santi, The Associated Press)



Race to the Top 2011: The summer sequel

When it comes to New Jersey and the federal Race to the Top competition, the question is: Will the third time be the charm?  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



CEOs give N.J. a better grade

New Jersey is becoming a friendlier place to do business, but it still fares worse than many other states, according to a survey of business leaders released Wednesday.  (Lederman, Gannett)



A look at facts on NJ from the US Census Bureau

Selected details on New Jersey’s population in 2010 from new census data published Thursday. All rankings of communities considered only municipalities with at least 1,000 residents.  (The Associated Press)



Jersey Shore fans inundate Christie with mail

People who want to make sure they can get onto the sand in New Jersey without a court order swamped the governor’s office with more than 1,000 “Dear Gov. Christie” postcards on Wednesday, asking him not to water down a right that dates to the Roman Empire.  (Parry, The Associated Press)



N.J. Attorney General’s Office report tracks cash flow from most inquired-about charities

When generous New Jerseyans open their wallets for charity, they expect their money will go to a good cause — like paying for medical research or tools to help protect police.  (Baxter, The Star-Ledger)



Rep. Garrett proposal calls for end to Libyan action without Congressional OK

President Obama must either end the military involvement in Libya or seek authorization from Congress because he has no legal authority to continue battling the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, Rep. Scott Garrett said Wednesday.  (Jackson, The Record)



State workers protest speed of negotiations

A group of state workers belonging to Communications Workers of America Local 1037 protested around noon Wednesday on East Main Street a lack of progress in contract negotiations with the government.  (Primeau and Kolubah, Gannett)



Six towns, headed by Asbury Park, to share $13M in state aid if Gov. Christie’s budget is approved

Six municipalities that are considered fiscally distressed will split $13 million in state aid, including $10.3 million for Asbury Park, if Gov. Chris Christie’s $29.6 billion budget is approved.  (DeMarco, The Star-Ledger)



After-school funding has some worried in Englewood

Mitch Schonfeld, chief executive of the Bergen Family Center, wants residents to ask state lawmakers to reinstate funding for New Jersey After 3, which helps finance after-school programs throughout the state, including in Englewood.  (Curley, Northern Valley Subordinate)



Burlco districts may share superintendent

The freeholder-director of Burlington County has asked the two school districts it supports with tax dollars to share one superintendent as a cost-saving move to make the administrative and eventually support operations more efficient.  (Comego, Gannett)



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Christie to pull out of RGGI at press conference, unveil energy plan

Gov. Chris Christie will announce the state’s withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program at an 11 a.m. press conference tomorrow, Statehouse sources told State Street Wire tonight.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Assembly Dems to unveil pension reform for police and fire on Thursday

A group of Assembly Democrats are moving forward with part of a union-friendly benefit reform strategy on Thursday morning with a police and fire pension plan that increases contributions, but avoids the elimination of cost of living increases that Gov. Chris Christie has made a high priority. Several statehouse and lower chamber sources confirmed this Wednesday night.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Senate Dems showing fault lines over possible budget sponsorship

A group of Democratic lawmakers is pushing for the party to craft its own budget as an alternative to the one submitted by the governor, but so far little consensus has emerged.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



Educational Testing Services pays $1.4 million to settle overbilling claim

Educational Testing Services, the Princeton-based leader in standardized testing has agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle claims that the firm improperly billed U.S. Department of Education for federal contracts it holds with the agency.  (Isherwood, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



PolitickerNJ Editor on Eagleton’s “Morning After” panel

PolitickerNJ Editor Darryl Isherwood will be among the four member panel for the Eagleton Institute of Politics “Morning After” discussion of next month’s primary election.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






The Supremes play Solomon

Last week, the treasurer’s office informed us that higher income tax revenue of slightly more than $500 million for the next 14 month would fill the state’s coffers.  Yesterday, the Supreme Court ordered the state to spend $500 million more on schools in the Abbott districts.  Call me cynical, but what a coincidence!   (Sabrin, PolitickerNJ)



Is it the rule of law or the rule of lawyers?

The headline on the lead story in this newspaper yesterday was “Poor districts to get $500M more funding.”

Poor districts? In the halls of the Statehouse yesterday, I cornered a certain spokesman for the Christie administration who will remain nameless. Said spokesman lives in Long Branch, which is one of the 31 putatively “poor” districts that will split the bounty from the state Supreme Court’s ruling in the Abbott XXI school-funding case.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)

  Morning News Digest: May 26, 2011