Morning News Digest – May 21, 2013

Christie no longer ‘Today’ show cohost Gov. Chris Christie is no longer scheduled to co-host an hour of the TODAY

Christie no longer ‘Today’ show cohost

Gov. Chris Christie is no longer scheduled to co-host an hour of the TODAY show, rather the incumbent governor seeking re-election in the fall will sit down “for an extended interview,” according to the program’s spokeswoman.

New Jersey’s governor was originally slated to co-host the program for an hour later this week when PolitickerNJ reported the appearance could have given Christie’s lesser-known primary opponent grounds for requesting equal on-air time, according to an FCC spokesman.

“Gov. Christie will sit down with TODAY for an extended interview and he will be a part of a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Jersey Shore for the summer season,” TODAY show spokeswoman Megan Kopf said in a statement. “He will not serve as guest co-host as we don’t want the ‘equal time’ rules to distract from the real focus of the show, which is to highlight the Jersey Shore.”

Matthew Street Wire


Van Drew backs Sweeney in state chair debacle

Like Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) wanted another choice for state party chair – and remains hopeful of a change.



Sweeney: O’Donnell is a ‘horrible pick’



Sweeney calls Kean ‘desperate’

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney said he decided to pull Republican-sponsored bills from committee agendas because Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, (R-21), of Westfield, “has decided to make things very partisan here.”



Bramnick: Dems haven’t done enough to rein in taxes and spending

TRENTON – Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick has a simple answer for what should happen to longtime Democrats who didn’t do enough to rein in spending and tax increases.



Latest from State Street Wire

Bill on menhaden catch limits, social media instruction, among those passed in Assembly

TRENTON – The Assembly passed bills involving licenses for timeshare salespersons, school instruction on responsible use of social media, private sponsorship of toll road rest areas, and menhaden catching regulations, among others.

Bill Mooney-State Street Wire


Codey embarks on raising tobacco purchasing age to 21

TRENTON – A Senate lawmaker introduced legislation Monday that would raise the age to buy a pack of cigarettes in the state to 21.

Matthew Arco-State Street Wire


Assembly concurs on CV’d bills

TRENTON – The Assembly passed bills today that had previously been vetoed conditionally, including measures dealing with employees’ computer user names and Lottery winner anonymity. The Assembly concurred with the governor’s recommendations.

Bill Mooney-State Street Wire


NJ ex-priest arrested after working with kids

A New Jersey priest who resigned this month after admitting he worked unsupervised with young people despite a legal agreement that barred him from doing so was arrested Monday.

Kate Zezima-Associated Press


Workers race nature to rebuild Shore habitats before mating, migration season

Sand-filled dump trucks — up to 50 a day — rolled onto beaches along the Delaware Bay recently in a feverish attempt to restore shorelines that had been washed away by Superstorm Sandy.

James  O’Neill-The Record


Poverty growing faster in New Jersey suburbs, including Bergen County, study finds

People are becoming impoverished at a faster rate in areas that used to be considered comfortable suburban enclaves, including large swaths of North Jersey, than they are in cities, according to a study released Monday.

Abbot Koloff – The Record


Christie: Jersey Shore open for business

LAVALLETTE — Governor Christie smiled Monday as he watched the mayor of this beachside borough and members of its council hammer the final nails into its new $1.3 million boardwalk.

Melissa Hayes-The Record


Assembly approves incentives overhaul bill

This afternoon, the Assembly passed a bill by Albert Coutinho (D-Newark) that aims to revamp New Jersey’s corporate incentive programs, a shift that’s drawn wide support from the business community.

The Economic Opportunity Act would overhaul the state’s business incentives by consolidating five incentive programs into two. The Grow New Jersey grant program would serve as the main business and job-creation incentive, while the Economic Redevelopment and Growth tax increment financing program would help developers.

Mary Ann Bourbeau-NJBIZ


How the French economy compares to Germany’s, U.K.’s

PARIS (AP) — Here’s how the struggling French economy stacks up compared to Germany’s and Britain’s.

Associated Press


First gun bills land on Christie’s desk

TRENTON — Three bills aimed at controlling gun violence gained final legislative approval in the state Assembly today, making them the first of what is expected to be a big batch of gun control legislation to land on Gov. Chris Christie’s desk.

Matt Friedman-The Star Ledger




Taxing NJ drivers by the mile is wrong fix for broken Transportation Trust Fund

New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is broken. Unfortunately, so are the state’s roads.

That’s a bad combo brought on by years of governors borrowing to cover costs of transportation infrastructure projects. Debt for the trust fund has reached $14.3 billion this year, up from $4.3 billion in 2000. New Jersey collects a gas tax of 10.5 cents per gallon and it all goes to cover the $991 million annual debt payment.

Editorial –Trenton Times


Christie ad hits on touchy subject of property taxes

Governor Christie’s first ad for his reelection campaign makes the case that he’s winning the war against New Jersey’s property taxes, which are among the nation’s highest.

Charles Stile-The Record

  Morning News Digest – May 21, 2013