Morning News Digest: Friday, July 29, 2011
By Missy Rebovich
Christie released from Somerset Medical Center
The big emergency room door opened and deposited Gov. Chris Christie on the pavement in front of reporters where he took questions moments before he climbed into a black SUV and peeled away from Somerset Medical Center following an all-day stay.
Christie was here for eight hours.
The hospital staff administered tests and treatment to relieve the governor’s asthma-like symptoms, to the satisfaction of Christie and the medical staff here, who finally cut him loose at 6:30 p.m. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)
Citing family concerns, Delany to resign from Assembly; won’t pursue full term in LD 8
Assemblyman Pat Delany (R-8), who replaced state Sen. Dawn Addiego in the Assembly when Addiego moved up to become the 8th District senator, will resign from the Assembly and scrap his plans to run for a full term.
“Today, I have made the difficult decision to resign from the New Jersey General Assembly and to abandon my campaign for a full-term this fall,” said Delany. (Pizarrom PolitickerNJ)
Despite hospital stay, Gov. Christie says his asthma flareup did not impair his ability to govern
Gov. Chris Christie spent the day in the emergency room, but he said his asthma flareup did not impair his ability to govern and there was no need to transfer power to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Thursday.
Part of Guadagno’s job is to take the reins from Christie when he goes out of state or is out of commission — but that wasn’t the case. (Rizzo, The Star-Ledger)
Gov. Christie’s hospitalization prompts varied reactions from Twitter
On his way to a bill-signing event, Gov. Chris Christie began complaining of breathing troubles this morning. It proved to be nothing serious, and tests results were normal. Not surprisingly, the day’s events can be traced through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, which the public, other politicians, and at least one celebrity pundit used to spread the news of Christie’s hospitalization. (Brown, The Star-Ledger)
New Jersey loses out on $15 million federal charter school grant
New Jersey has again lost out on federal funding for charter school startups, with reviewers citing continued weaknesses in the state’s oversight. They also cited the state’s 15-year old charter law, which is now under debate in the Statehouse.
This is the third straight year the state has fallen short in the competition, losing a bid for $15 million. New York and Florida were the only winners out of 18 applicants. (Mooney, NJ Spotlight)
That state’s decision to return school aid pushed back the mailing – and receiving – of taxes for local towns
New Jersey towns have been complaining for years that the state mandates things but then won’t pay for them.
The newest complaint concerns property tax bills.
Towns used to mail out third-quarter property tax bills by June 14. That guaranteed cash flow long before the third quarter of the year arrived. (Degener, Press of Atlantic City)
Former Bergen County executive assumes role on Port Authority Board of Commissioners
Former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber was welcomed as the newest member of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, after having been nominated to the post by Gov. Chris Christie in April.
Schuber, 63, who had served as a state Assemblyman and mayor of Bogota, retired from public office in 2002 after three terms as county executive. (Strunsky, The Star-Ledger)
New Jersey tells federal agency new capacity is desperately needed
New Jersey is not the only state struggling to find a way to convince power suppliers to build new generating capacity, a problem that has spiked electric bills here and elsewhere and heightened concerns about whether there is enough juice to keep the lights on.
At a technical conference before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), New Jersey officials and others told the agency a new rule adopted this spring could make it virtually impossible to develop new generating capacity in areas along the eastern seaboard where it is desperately needed. (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)
Hospital stays routine for N.J. governors
In recent years, few New Jersey governors make it through their terms without unexpected visits to hospitals. Compared with the others, Gov. Chris Christie had it relatively easy.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine was nearly killed in a crash on the Garden State Parkway in April 2007. Corzine’s trooper-driven SUV was going 91 mph just before the accident. The governor was in the front seat and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt; he was hospitalized 18 days after losing significant amounts of blood and breaking his collarbone, left leg, sternum and 11 ribs. He had to hand over gubernatorial duties to Senate President Richard Codey for nearly a month. (Staff, Gannett)
Runyan backs Boehner
Speaker John Boehner can count on freshman Rep. Jon Runyan’s support for the House debt-limit plan.
Runyan, of Mount Laurel, was among a group of House GOP freshmen who pledged support to Boehner’s plan Thursday morning.
Runyan, the only freshman in New Jersey’s congressional delegation, appeared at a news conference held by the freshmen to announce their support for the Boehner plan. (Chebium, Gannett)
House postpones debt-limit vote
House leaders have postponed a vote on a bill that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline and cut almost $1 trillion in federal spending.
Republican aides said the vote could still take place tonight. It was originally scheduled for around 5:30 in the evening.
The debt-limit plan was introduced in the GOP-majority House by the top Republican in Congress – Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. He’s still trying to round up enough support for passage. (Chebium, Gannett)
Company with political ties is sole bidder on jail contract
Officials in Essex County, N.J., announced Thursday that only one company had bid on a contract to run a 450-bed immigration detention center that federal officials would like to turn into a model for such facilities across the country.
The sole bidder was an affiliate of Community Education Centers, whose executives have close political ties to Gov. Chris Christie and the Essex County executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. (Dolnick, The New York Times)
Local officials move to block new pipelines in Jersey Highlands
Opposition to the expansion of pipelines through the New Jersey Highlands is mounting among local officials, some of whom are calling for a moratorium banning the practice of pumping huge quantities of water into the ground to drill for natural gas.
The Clinton Township Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution opposing Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed extension of its natural gas line by adding nearly seven miles of pipeline next to two existing lines. It also adopted a resolution calling for stronger regulation of the practice employed to extract the gas—hydraulic fracturing. (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)
Anger at N.J. meeting on 9/11 victims’ fund over cancer exclusion
Several people who flocked to Ground Zero after 9/11 lashed out angrily at a town hall-style meeting Thursday night, saying they were disappointed that a $2.8 billion federal fund for people suffering from sicknesses linked to the attacks will not cover cancer.
The fund, known officially as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Fund, will begin doling out money later this year to first responders, residents and others who were near Ground Zero during and after the terrorist attacks. (Shilling, The Record)
Latest from State Street Wire
Hudson County hospital announces sale to California healthcare group
Christ Hospital of Jersey City announced a pending sale today to Prime Healthcare Services of California, owner and operator of 13 acute care hospitals in California.
The sale to the acute care hospital management firm follows shortly after a New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services report that recommends either consolidation of services or closure of one hospital in Hudson County because there are more beds than patients and the facilities have been relying on state funding to remain solvent. (Carroll, State Street Wire)
DEP seeks RFPs from independent expert candidates for Oyster Creek panel
The state wants an independent expert to sit on the advisory panel for a nuclear power plant.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued a request for proposals from qualified experts who wish to serve as the independent expert to the Oyster Creek Safety Advisory Panel.
The panel was created in May to supplement oversight of the nuclear power plant in Lacey Township leading up to its closure by the end of 2019. DEP said at the time it would have an independent expert on the panel. (Staff, State Street Wire)
Second-quarter payout of over $646,000 for losses to clients caused by attorneys
A fund kept to pay clients for losses caused by lawyers paid out more than $646,000 for the second quarter of this year, according to the state judiciary.
The New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, funded by the state’s lawyers and judges, paid $646,727.26 to clients for losses caused by 10 lawyers, the board of trustees announced today. (Staff, State Street Wire)
NJ Republicans in Congress have become tea party foot soldiers
As we watch the final days of this embarrassing dance with default, know that one thing is already settled: The Republicans won.
Neither of the two surviving plans raises taxes at all. The federal tax bite is now frozen at its lowest level in 60 years. And that means we are entering a new era of harsh austerity, with more than 14 million Americans already out of work. (Moran, The Star-Ledger)
Chris Christie’s health should be the story, not his image
Gov. Chris Christie was hospitalized today after complaining of trouble breathing, an announcement that left much of the press corps also short of breath. When the governor emerged from the hospital this evening, he was greeted outside by a gaggle of waiting reporters. (Rothman, The Star-Ledger)
DeCroce: Proof it’s all a show
We have theorized the ongoing hearings about the budget that took effect July 1 are political theater gearing up for the November election. Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce pointed to proof: There is no dispute that legal service funds are clearly tied to the economy and those dollars disappeared with the collapse of the housing market,” but when Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande tried to focus the committee on long-term reform of how we fund legal services, Chairman Peter Barnes said those discussions would have to wait until the fall because the hearing only dealt with the current budget. (Ingle, Gannett)