Morning News Digest: June 14, 2011

Morning News Digest: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

By Missy Rebovich

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FEC dismisses complaint against Ayscue and CCDC, though GOP highlights Dem’s involvement with DeStefano

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) last week told legal counsel for the Camden County Democratic Committee (CCDC) that the FEC won’t investigate Steve Ayscue of Haddon Capital Ventures or others suspected of violating election laws related to Tea Party candidate Peter DeStefano in the 2010 3rd Congressional District race.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Spadea: Crowley considering Senate run

Republican biotech millionaire John Crowley of Princeton may run for the United States senate, according to his friend and political confidant, Bill Spadea.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Christie files appointments

Gov. Chris Christie tonight filed appointments to various boards and commissions.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)




Hearing to focus on Christie’s helicopter use

New Jersey’s top cop will be answering questions Tuesday about Gov. Chris Christie’s use of state police helicopters for transportation.  (The Associated Press)




Gov. Christie still mainly quiet as benefits and pension overhaul continues

The state’s top lawmakers said Monday that they cleared a significant hurdle in efforts to overhaul public employee benefits after agreeing to a plan that shifts more medical costs onto workers while protecting future collective bargaining rights.  (Renshaw, The Star-Ledger)




Unions turn on New Jersey Senate president over health benefits

A war of words has erupted over a proposal to require public workers to pay more for health benefits, with the largest public worker union denouncing the plan as dishonest and the Legislature’s top Democrat dismissing the unions’ position as selfish.  (Delli Santi, The Associated Press)




Unions plan Statehouse rally to oppose plan to make public employees pay more for health benefits

Thousands of unionized workers plan to rally in front of the Statehouse Thursday in opposition to a compromise plan between Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Gloucester) to make New Jersey’s 500,000 public employees pay more for their health benefits and take away their ability to decide the matter at the bargaining table.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



Republican Kyrillos, running now for state Senate, eyes 2012 Senate run

Republican Joseph Kyrillos is looking at back-to-back elections – running to keep his state Senate seat in Monmouth County this fall and then taking the leap toward unseating Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez a year later.  (Burton, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Lautenberg, Holt urge Christie to oppose rail security funding cuts

With the sound of train horns in the background, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg and Rep. Rush Holt, both D-N.J., called on Gov. Chris Christie to lobby his fellow Republicans not to cut federal funding for rail and mass transit security by 65 percent.  (Higgs, Gannett)




Chris Christie’s energy plan criticized

Gov. Chris Christie says he is committed to protecting natural resources and is not a climate-change skeptic. But environmentalists and Democrats are skeptical. They dominated an Assembly hearing Monday at the Statehouse, armed with criticism of the Republican governor’s decision to pull New Jersey out of the nation’s first cap-and-trade anti-pollution program.  (Jordan, Gannett)



N.J. Democrats try to lock in emissions deal

Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation Monday to force Gov. Christie to stay in a multistate pact to reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.  (Lederman, The Associated Press)



Your clean energy funds at work

Every time you sit down and write a monthly check for the electricity and gas delivered to your home or business, a portion of that money goes to pay the costs of providing energy to New Jersey’s state government buildings.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



Copay hike may end in 4 years

A proposed new requirement that government workers pay an increased portion of their health insurance would end in four years under a new compromise announced Monday.  (Method, Gannett)



N.J. Senate panel OKs bill requiring stricter rules on tracking child abuse cases

State workers investigating complaints of child abuse would have to track cases more closely and report more statistics under a bill passed unanimously by a state Senate panel Monday.  (Rizzo, The Star-Ledger)



Bill to allow juveniles convicted of ‘sexting’ to enter educational program approved by N.J. Senate panel

The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday approved legislation that would allow certain juveniles charged with so-called “sexting” through texting to enter into an educational program and avoid criminal prosecution.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)



N.J. Assembly panel OKs bill allowing parking defense for N.J. train stations

Commuters who don’t know where to park when the general use lots at train stations are filled up may soon have an excuse to park in the permit-only lots.  (The Associated Press)



Assembly panel OKs tanning restrictions

Lawmakers in New Jersey are moving one step closer to banning the use of tanning beds by minors.  (Gannett)



N.J.’s young-driver decals ‘not working,’ many agree

A year after it took effect, opposition continues to a New Jersey law that requires young, novice drivers to identify themselves with red decals on their license plates.  (Boyer, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Opponents call for fracking ban, even with no natural gas drilling in New Jersey

Aiming to put pressure on the Christie administration and the Delaware River Basin Commission, lawmakers and environmentalists yesterday called on the state to enact a ban on natural gas hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



City honors mayor sent to prison

Some have described New Jersey’s Union City, deep in the heart of Hudson County, as having a culture of corruption.  (Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal)



Anderson only pushes change so far on first day as Newark super

Not wasting much time, Cami Anderson’s first big announcement as Newark’s new superintendent may have been as much about what she didn’t say as what she did.  (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)



Greater Atlantic City Golf Association wants the CRDA to contribute to its marketing campaign

The Atlantic City region is undermarketed as a golfing destination, and funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for more promotion could lead to a much larger economic benefit for the area, a group of golf course owners and promoters said Monday in a meeting with The Press of Atlantic City’s editorial board.  (Procida, Press of Atlantic City)



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Four new members named to Autism Council

Gov. Christie appointed four new members to the Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Two weeks out, Democratic majorities still non-committal on budget authorship

Support among Senate and Assembly Democrats for authoring a budget has gained some momentum, sources said, but with two weeks to go before a final budget is due, no decision has been made.  (Carroll, State Street Wire)



DiCicco wants Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program tightened

A legislator at the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee meeting Monday recommended tightening the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program to make sure it is intended to attract businesses from out of state and not just provide lucrative incentives for businesses that already are in the state to move just a few miles away.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Shared services, busing bills cleared committees

Bills on shared services, out-of-state bus companies advance.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Bill to create life sciences internship program advances

The Assembly Commerce and economic Development Committee unanimously passed A4094, a bill that creates the New Jersey Life Science Internship Challenge Program.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room



Buono’s burden

Sources say the stark battle lines in the Middlesex County Democratic Party and her reluctance to starkly and publicly choose a side reveal state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono’s timeless political problem: her inability to radiate power out of her own district – let alone muster credibility as a statewide figure.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Union deal likely, and without Wis. dramatics

Don’t expect a repeat of the political warfare waged in Wisconsin if there is a bipartisan bedfellows vote to weaken collective bargaining power of New Jersey’s public employee unions.  (Stile, The Record)



FEC dismisses Tea Party plant complaint against CamCo Dems

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint filed by the New Jersey Republican State Committee alleging the Camden County Democratic Committee violated campaign finance laws in the hotly contested race between Democrat John Adler and Republican Jon Runyan.  (Roh, Strictly Politics)



Oliver move cost Dems on pension

If Assembly Democrats were smart, they’d get Sheila Oliver a helicopter.

The speaker’s decision to drive a wedge between Chris Christie and Steve Sweeney in support of maintaining the status quo on how public pension and health benefits are awarded is the political equivalent of handing the governor the keys to a tank, patting him on the back and telling him to enjoy himself.  (NJBIZ)

  Morning News Digest: June 14, 2011