Morning News Digest: June 13, 2011

Morning News Digest: Monday, June 13, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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Winners and Losers: Week of June 6th

Paterson has a natural wonder in the middle of its busted iron heart. Newark will always have Gloria Gaynor and the guy who wrote the theme song for Hawaii Five-O. Jersey City has the grave of Frank Hague and Camden the ghost of Jersey Joe Walcott.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)



Source: Kyrillos sets up exploratory committee for U.S. Senate run

A close ally of Gov. Chris Christie’s, veteran legislator and former state GOP chairman, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13) of Middletown has opened a U.S. Senate exploratory committee with an eye to 2012 but not limited to a candidacy against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a source told  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



A.C. Mayor Langford fails to disclose 60K in in-kind donations

Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, who announced last week he was toying with a run for state Senate, failed to report more than $60,000 in contributions of services to his campaign account, according to state records.  (Isherwood, PolitickerNJ)



Lawmakers weigh UEZ changes

A state Assembly panel today is scheduled to consider plans to reform some financial aspects of New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones.  (Shipkowski, The Associated Press)



Hearing set on split from 10-state effort

In an event one environmentalist admitted is mostly for show, an Assembly panel on Monday is scheduled to hear testimony concerning Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to pull out of a 10-state effort to reduce air pollution along the East Coast.  (Schoonejongen, Gannett)



Gov. Christie has upper hand

Leaders of New Jersey’s once-powerful environmental lobby admit they’ve fallen into disarray, offering little coordinated opposition as Gov. Chris Christie chips away at pollution restrictions to help promote business development.  (Jordan, Gannett)



Two investigations launched into Elizabeth school board

The Elizabeth Board of Education has become the focus of two investigations in the wake of charges that jobs and promotions at one of the state’s largest school systems were tied to political contributions.  (Sherman, The Star-Ledger)



Redrawn districts give candidates new voters for New Jersey Legislatures

For state legislative incumbents and candidates, a priority in this year’s election is becoming familiar with the new areas of their turf.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



In N.J., tax credit sparks development

New Jersey’s controversial program to encourage development near rail hubs marks the latest in a series of initiatives by Trenton to control growth in a state well known for its troubled inner cities and suburban sprawl.  (Spodek, The Wall Street Journal)



Rail stations drive demand

As New Jersey slowly emerges from the economic downturn, its office market is beginning to transform into one concentrated around train stations.  (Rubinstein, The Wall Street Journal)



Many state legislators lack college degrees

About one in four of the nearly 7,400 elected representatives across the country do not possess a four-year college degree, according to a report released Sunday evening by The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington. That compares with 6 percent of members of Congress, and 72 percent of adults nationwide, said the report, which is based primarily on the officials’ self-reported biographical information.  (Hu, The New York Times)



New rule heart-defect tests now mandatory

Some hospitals routinely conduct the Pulse Oximetry test one day after babies are born, but with a stroke of the governor’s pen, all hospitals now must perform this nonevasive screening for congenital heart defects.  (Manochio, Gannett)



A district in transition awaits superintendent Anderson

Camden Middle School is a good example of the kind of challenges — and uncertainties — that await Cami Anderson on her first day as Newark’s superintendent of schools.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Can New Jersey afford to be the offshore wind state?

Now that New Jersey has attracted the interest of 11 offshore wind developers eager to cash in on subsidies to build offshore wind farms, it faces a challenge on how big a bet to place on the emerging technology.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



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Week in advance for June 13



DEP says 11 companies show interest in developing wind power off Atlantic Coast

The state Department of Environmental Protection said Friday that 11 companies are interested in developing wind turbines to produce clean energy off the Jersey coast.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Christie to address NJBIA Employer Legislative Committees state dinner

Gov. Chris Christie will speak about the ways he has tried to improve the state’s business climate at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s Employer Legislative Committees State Dinner, 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village in Plainsboro.  (State Street Wire)



Treasury: May revenues match forecasts

The state Treasury Department reported today that revenue collections in May matched forecasts.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



15th District lawmakers want state to make PILOT payment to Trenton

With three weeks remaining before the state budget deadline, Sen. Shirley K. Turner and Assembly members Reed Gusciora and Bonnie Watson Coleman – the 15th District lawmakers – today called on the state to make a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to the capital city, submitting formal legislative budget resolutions to force the PILOT.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



In case you missed it



Christie walks, talks line

Chris Christie is two politicians. 

When Christie the possible presidential candidate eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood, Christie the incumbent governor explained that it was a fiscal decision unrelated to his pro-life beliefs.  (Katz, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Christie’s education spending may be surprising

New Jersey is spending roughly the same amount of every dollar it collects from taxpayers on direct school aid under Governor Christie as it did under prior Democratic governors.  (Reitmeyer, The Record)



Christie trailing Romney hurts Pawlenty by entering primary, survey says

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would tie for second with Sarah Palin should they both make a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a poll shows.  (Dopp, Bloomberg)



Some Democrats view NJN takeover by WNET as case of political payback

It’s a deal aimed at saving New Jersey’s bankrupt public television network.

And the guy behind it is the well-regarded head of a nonprofit TV production company who has won Emmy awards and critical acclaim for shows about New Jersey.  (McGlone, The Star-Ledger)



Lewis still running

Carl Lewis hasn’t slowed down much with age.

That was apparent one evening while following the 49-year-old track and field legend on the campaign trail, during which he sped between dozens of homes in the Lake Valley section of the township, knocking on doors, handing out campaign fliers, and introducing himself to would-be voters.  (Levinsky, Burlington County Times)



N.J. wind energy attracts strong interest

Eleven companies have expressed an interest in constructing wind turbines to create electric energy off the New Jersey coast, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Christie proposal to slash Medicaid by $540 million puts NJ at center of national debate

As states across the country look for ways to trim billions off their spending on Medicaid, New Jersey is garnering particular attention for a proposal that opponents characterize as an unprecedented and draconian attempt to balance the state’s precarious budget on the backs of society’s most vulnerable populations.  (The Associated Press)



Oliver proposal gives N.J. public workers right to negotiate health benefits

With virtually no support from the Assembly Democratic majority for a compromise plan by Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney to make New Jersey’s 500,000 public employees pay more for their health and pension benefits, Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) on Friday offered her own proposal.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



People and Power: Senate president Sweeney says pensions, benefits reform are intertwined

As Senate President Steve Sweeney sides with Gov. Chris Christie on a deal to change public workers’ pensions and health benefits, he fights to keep the two linked.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Well-known Middlesex County Democrats to compete for control of party chair

Two well-known Middlesex County democrats will face off Tuesday in the first public fight over control of the powerful political committee in more than 15 years.  (Haydon, The Star-Ledger)



Appellate judge appointed temporary N.J. Supreme Court justice

Once again, the state Supreme Court has a new temporary justice.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner assigned Appellate Judge Dorothea O’C. Wefing to fill the spot on the bench vacated by Judge Edwin Stern, who turned 70 on Friday and reached the mandatory retirement age.  (Spoto, The Star-Ledger)



Watchdog report: N.J. state college enrollment increases, state aid does not, so students pay more

Richard Stockton College will get about $19.8 million in state aid next year, or about $2,800 per student, to subsidize the cost of educating about 7,000 full-time undergraduates.  (D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City)



Legal Services seeks scarce funds amid sharp demands

Maria Villarreal went before the state Assembly Judiciary Committee in Trenton recently and shared a personal story she hoped would bolster funding for Legal Services of New Jersey.  (Racz, Gannett)



Tea Party influence tied to win Morris freeholder race

Less than two years ago, William Henry “Hank” Lyon ran for a student government post in college and lost.  (Jennings, Gannett)



‘Soviet Union’ remark wins Christie praise from the right

Governor Christie’s “Soviet Union” swipe at New Jersey Network last week wasn’t all that original.  (Stile, The Record)



Atlantic City Mayor Langford: Loud and proud

Mayor Lorenzo Langford, strategically located by the door, has formed a one-man receiving line at the front of the packed city council meeting room. If you want to get out, and dozens are trying, you must scoot past him — and that’s not easy: Langford is stopping more people than a security checkpoint at the New Meadowlands Stadium.  (Manahan, The Star-Ledger)



NJN’s death, and what comes next

It was a painful moment when Michael Aron raised his hand to ask Gov. Chris Christie a question about the untimely death of NJN, the network Aron has helped steer for nearly 30 years.  (Moran, The Star-Ledger)



Assemblyman Joe Malone is about to call it a career

After keeping everyone guessing for a couple of months, well-known Assemblyman Joseph Malone (R-Burlington) will announce a decision about his political future this week. The Auditor is told it’s highly likely he’ll be calling it a career in Trenton.  (The Auditor, The Star-Ledger)



There’s a remote possibility this TV deal is the worst ever

That deal to turn New Jersey’s public television licenses over to a New York station didn’t sound too bad to most people when Gov. Chris Christie announced it on Monday.  (Mulshine, The Star-Ledger)



An asset N.J. can’t afford to lose

Last week, Governor Christie announced the transfer of operations of New Jersey Network, the state-owned public television network, to New York-based WNET, despite the fact that an in-state entity, Montclair State University, proposed assuming control of the network.  (Harrison, for The Record)

  Morning News Digest: June 13, 2011