Morning Digest: June 20th


Budget Crisis: Prieto leans away from Sweeney on tax for those making over $500,000; prefers ‘true millionaires’ tax’

TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), Secaucus, this afternoon emerged from a backroom session with Senate Democrats a day after Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) announced his plan to close a state budget gap. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Backroom budget scuffle between Sweeney and Prieto belies another war

TRENTON – The Assembly Democratic caucus was supposed to be the public sector labor union-loving progressive wild-west lower house. They were the sticking points during public pen ben overhaul season three years ago, with some of them sticking it hardest of all to Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Bateman: Christie, Sweeney can both emerge “unscathed” from budget battle

TRENTON – State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) has seen more than his share of budget battles during his 20 years in the Legislature. But the atmosphere surrounding this year’s fiscal fight is tinged by a word often heard within the walls of power: ambition. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Senate aye vote on Rutgers Board of Governors: Sweeney’s S-1860 ultimatum

TRENTON – After passing a hotly debated bill on the senate floor earlier today that would add politically appointed members to its main governing body, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) was quick to give Rutgers University administrators a way out. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Rutgers Board of Trustees approves resolution to review school governance

Facing an ultimatum handed out by Senate President Steve Sweeney earlier today to self-reform or suffer greater political oversight by the state, the Rutgers University Board of Trustees have approved a resolution agreeing to review the school’s governance structure over the next 90-days. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Group of state legislators, affected residents call for New Jersey support for federal action against climate change

TRENTON – Climate change could be the global issue that most dramatically affects humanity’s future. On Thursday, an assembly of New Jersey state legislators and residents affected by extreme weather called on the Garden State powers that be to act on a local level and back recent federal moves meant to combat climate change. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



In letter to university’s Boards, Counsel Farmer opposes Rutgers Board of Guvs bill, but advises not to fight it if signed into law

TRENTON – In a letter dated yesterday, June 18th, Rutgers University Dean John J. Farmer, Jr., the school’s general counsel, told the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees that while he opposes Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) Rutgers bill, he would not support litigation by the university against the legislative and/or executive branches of government if it passes today. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Christie files nominations

Governor Chris Christie filed the following nominations with the State Senate. The Governor’s nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate. Governor Chris Christie also filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State’s Office. (Politicker Staff)



Analysis: Christie’s words on pensions waver from concerned to reassuring

Governor Christie said on his call-in radio show on Monday that New Jersey could face “the same fate” as bankrupt Detroit because of crippling pension costs. He wants a new round of pension reforms to head off that crisis. But on Wednesday, Christie administration lawyers filed a legal brief with a different take on the health of the pension fund. (Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)



Planned Christie trips test politics of a 2016 bid

Over the next few months, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is poised to interact with several influential conservative audiences whose support could prove critical to his ambitions for a potential 2016 bid for the presidency. The second-term Republican is scheduled to appear Friday before a prominent evangelical Christian conference in Washington, D.C., before setting off to New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina by summer’s end. (Dawsey, Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)



Chris Christie joins GOP courtship of evangelicals

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is joining the parade of ambitious Republicans courting religious conservatives as the early jockeying for the next presidential contest intensifies. (Associated Press)


Chris Christie to address conservatives on addiction, abortion

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver a message denouncing Washington gridlock to a group of social conservatives Friday, and will discuss the issue of drug addiction in a pro-life frame, an aide to the governor told POLITICO. (Haberman/Politico)



N.J. Senate confirms 2 for Supreme Court

The Senate confirmed two men to the state Supreme Court Thursday, easing a four-year-old conflict between Governor Christie and Senate Democrats over the makeup of the bench. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner now has tenure, which will allow him to serve until 2030 when he will hit the mandatory retirement age of 70. And Lee Solomon, a Superior Court judge who has served as county prosecutor and head of the Board of Public Utilities, joined the Supreme Court after being sworn in during a ceremony shortly after the Senate vote. (Phillis/The Bergen Record)


Bob Menendez Urges U.S., Central America To Do More To Combat Humanitarian Crisis At Border

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) unveiled a 20-point plan on Thursday for beginning to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Mexico, proposing specific measures to deal with the children already in the U.S. and the broader problems that bring them here. (Foley/Huffington Post)


Rand Paul, Cory Booker Join Forces to Protect Medical Marijuana From Feds

Three senators proposed amendments Wednesday to ban the Justice Department from spending money to combat medical marijuana in states that allow it. (Nelson/U.S. News and World Report)



Christie joins groundbreaking for nursing education center at Thomas Edison State College

Governor Christie helped break ground on a new nursing education center named for a late Bergen County lawmaker at Thomas Edison State College, which he said will serve as a gateway to the state capitol. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)



Christie signs bill giving disabled students equal access to athletics

New Jersey’s public schools will have to provide students with disabilities access to athletic programs under a bill Governor Christie signed into law Thursday. The bill signing was held as New Jersey is hosting teams from across the country for the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games. (Hayes/The Bergen Record)



Top Democratic official calls New Hampshire welcoming Christie ‘risky’

The head of the state’s Democratic Party argues it’s “risky politics” for New Hampshire Republicans to welcome Gov. Chris Christie to the Granite State and endorse a GOP gubernatorial hopeful. (Arco/NJ Advance Media)


NJ Senate panel advances bill to eliminate residency requirement for many teachers

A bill to roll back state residency requirements for teachers and other school district employees in nearly half of New Jersey’s counties cleared its first legislative hurdle today. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)



Compromise bill to renew key NJ property tax law heads to Christie’s desk

A bill to renew a lapsed law that mayors credit with helping reduce the growth of property taxes is on its way to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. The state Senate today voted 35-0 to give final legislative approval to a 2 percent limit on awards third-party officials called arbitrators can award to police and fire unions when they reach an impasse with towns and counties on their contracts. (Friedman/Star-Ledger)



Officials gather to discuss climate change

President Obama has focused his executive order powers on environmental issues, specifically cutting greenhouse gases and promoting a green economy. (Cruz/NJTV)



No. Haledon Democrats hoping to repeat last year’s election upset


NORTH HALEDON — Democrats eager to repeat last year’s rare triumph at the polls replaced one of their two candidates for Borough Council with a resident who until last week was a registered Republican. (Park/The Bergen Record)




Revel files bankruptcy petition

Revel Casino in Atlantic City filed bankruptcy papers today, according to a source familiar with the filing. (Politicker Staff)



Esquire: Fishman drills into Bridgegate

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s investigation of the George Washington Bridge debacle continues, according to an exclusive story in Esquire. (Politicker Staff)



Christie calls New Jersey voters ‘crazy’ at Daytop groundbreaking

On a blistering morning under a white tent at Daytop Substance Abuse Center in South Jersey yesterday, Governor Chris Christie likened New Jersey’s political make-up — where Republican and Democratic interests often collide — to an adolescent’s science experiment gone wrong. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)





Scandals heat up for Scott Walker and Chris Christie

Today was a bad day for Republican governors. Out in Wisconsin, the long-simmering investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign boiled over as prosecutors unsealed documents laying out what they say was Walker’s central role in a “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate with outside groups. And in New Jersey, reports are that investigators picking apart the almost comedic corruption of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration have several of the governor’s top aides dead-to-rights and are closing in on Christie himself. (Maloy/Salon) Morning Digest: June 20th