Morning News Digest: May 6, 2011

Morning News Digest: May 6, 2011 By Missy Rebovich Try State Street Wire, Follow PolitickerNJ on Twitter and Facebook. Text

Morning News Digest: May 6, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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


BREAKING: Choi announces 7th District Congressional candidacy

Getting in front of the 2012 contest early, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi today announced his challenge of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7).  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



BREAKING: Lewis to be on primary ballot pending resolution in District Court

The 3rd Circuit of Appeals remanded the Carl Lewis case to District Court today, which would enable the former Olympic gold medalist to remain on the ballot at least until Judge Noel Hillman decides his case.   (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



NJ gov to guest host on sports radio show on NYC

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a diehard Mets fan, will take to the airwaves Friday morning as a guest co-host on WFAN New York’s “Boomer and Carton Show.”  (The Associated Press)



Gov. Christie’s stance on Newark takeover stirs debate

New Jersey’s 15-year-old takeover of Newark schools got fresh attention this week, not only with Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of a new superintendent for the district but also with renewed questions as to how long he intends for the state to stay in charge.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Progress is slow on ‘tool kit’ to lower taxes

Governor Christie challenged lawmakers last May to pass a series of bills he said would lower property taxes, but a year later, with only some of the reforms enacted, property taxes are up $1 billion.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



N.J. attorney general faces questions on Christie’s threat to defy Supreme Court over school funding

A late afternoon Assembly budget hearing flared into an all-out constitutional debate Thursday when legislators asked Attorney General Paula Dow to settle the predominant legal question in Trenton: Can Gov. Chris Christie defy the state Supreme Court?  (Rizzo, The Star-Ledger)



Assembly panel votes to move presidential primary back to June

Democrats and Republicans voted together in committee Thursday in favor of a plan to move New Jersey’s presidential primary back to its traditional last-in-the-nation date in June.  (Symons, Gannett)



Jobless bill advances

An Assembly committee advanced legislation Thursday that would slow a looming increase, as well as future decreases, in taxes paid by businesses into the state’s unemployment fund.  (Symons, Gannett)



State launches criminal probe into weatherization program

The state Division of Criminal Justice has opened an investigation into the actions of a nonprofit agency given a lucrative contract to help New Jersey weatherize homes.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Vote on offshore drilling splits along party lines

The drill-versus-spill debate is heating up again.

Environmental groups in New Jersey are trying to rally opposition against three bills in Congress that would expand offshore oil and gas drilling. But the pain of $4-a-gallon gasoline is renewing pressure from supporters of drilling to do more to add to the nation’s energy supplies.  (Parry, The Associated Press)|topnews|text|State



N.J. lawmakers targeting people who photograph children without parental consent

For Ringwood homemaker Amy Conklin, something needed to be done.  (Friedman, The Star-Ledger)



N.J. Assembly committee advances bill to extend domestic violence laws to pets

Every day, family pets are targets in homes where there is domestic violance, animal advocates say. And the emotional trauma of their suffering extends to their owners, who often choose not to leave their batterer because they fear for their pet’s well being.  (Baxter, The Star-Ledger)



Give charter schools a chance, association chairman says

Charter schools are the research and development arm of public education and deserve a chance to prove they can succeed where public schools have not, a charter schools advocate told attendees Thursday at the annual Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association Scholarship Luncheon.  (D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City)



District reworks grant bid after dispute with teachers’ union

The Paterson school district’s bid to radically restructure Schools 4, 6 and 10 has met resistance from both the teachers union and the private firm it hired to write the grant proposal.  (Cowen, The Record)



As casino industry elsewhere begins recovery, Atlantic City remains stuck in worst slump in the nation

The nation’s casino industry has begun a slow recovery after enduring two tough years, but Atlantic City remains mired in a slump as it contends with stronger competition in surrounding states, a new report shows.  (Wittkowski, Press of Atlantic City)



EPA honors state program to protect environment

A program designed to prod New Jersey’s municipalities to adopt policies that protect the environment has received the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s highest award.  (O’Neill, The Record)



Administration hints at plan to put state parks in the black

Within the next month or so, the Christie administration is expected to unveil a long-term steady source of funding for New Jersey’s 39 state parks.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



New Jersey defends fines for saltwater anglers who fish without registering

The state is defending hefty fines that can be imposed against saltwater anglers who do not register to fish.  (Degener, Press of Atlantic City)



County counsel sworn in as Superior Court judge

Thomas Miller, the Somerset County attorney for two decades, was sworn in Thursday as the newest Superior Court judge in Vicinage 13.  (Burd, Gannett)



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School board member conduct bill conditionally vetoed

Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed three bills Thursday.

A444: Would require school board members to be held to the same standards of conduct as school employees. 

A1471/S1823: Makes changes to taxicab laws.

A-2173/S-1361: Would require the Department of State to establish and maintain a website to provide a clearinghouse of information for nonprofits.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Webber backs Christie in fight against the state Supreme Court, schools funding

As other Assembly members debated about a possible budget crisis if the state Supreme Court orders the state to pay more money for at-risk public schools, Assemblyman Jay Webber, (R-26), of Morris Plains, said the state is already facing a constitutional crisis as the state Senate had failed, until recently, to agree to have confirmation hearings on Gov. Chris Christie’s Supreme Court appointee Anne Patterson.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Realty, trades experts: Reduce taxes, cut red tape to put people back to work

Reduce or eliminate taxes that impede home sales, abolish the 2.5 percent COAH developers fee, and streamline regulations that hamper builders.  (Mooney, State Street Wire)



Approximately $800,000 spent on legal counsel so far in ARC repayment battle

The state has spent nearly $800,000 on outside counsel regarding its legal battle over repaying money to the federal government over the Access to the Region’s Core Tunnel project.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Sigmund gone

Much to nobody’s surprise, Paul Sigmund, chief of staff to Trenton Mayor Tony, resigned from his job today.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Christie’s latest target was just doing job

It’s not surprising why Governor Christie has made Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin his latest public punching bag.  (Stile, The Record)



AG’s report: Teen decal hasn’t attracted predators

Is there any evidence suggesting that the red decals that identify New Jersey’s teen drivers are a threat to their safety?  (Cichowski, The Record)



DeMaio gets the nod

Newark deputy police chief Samuel DeMaio was supposed to retire last month, with the type of send off reserved for one of his rank and 24 years of service. Green Street by NPD headquarters was to be lined with every available police vehicle as well as an honor guard and a phalanx of officers in dress uniform.  (Whitlow, The Star-Ledger)



DEP casts free saltwater web registry

The Department of Environmental Protection’s new free web-based saltwater fishing registry went into effect Wednesday in New Jersey.  (Freda, The Record)


Morning News Digest: May 6, 2011