Morning Digest: June 27th

The Boys of Summer: Christie Christie and those other budget-hounded guvs

TRENTON – Last week, New Jersey’s prodigal son found himself at the center of yet another state controversy when The New York Times reported that investigators are now probing whether his administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey violated securities laws with a 2011 road repair project on the Pulaski Skyway. Surely, if Gov. Chris Christie still has plans for a presidential run in 2016, he’s not making it easy for himself. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



Source: ‘A test for Lou’

TRENTON – In what amounted to a test for Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6), Democrats pulled together the votes to catapult A-3459 off the floor, a source told PolitickerNJ. The Democrat buttonholed colleages in both parties and helped summon commitments for 43 votes to pass the controversial bill sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Not finding $25 million in transitional aid, Caputo says Baraka ‘should be congratulated not punished’

TRENTON – A lawmaker who represents Newark is pained by the early iterations of a budget that does not give the state’s biggest embattled city the boost he says it needs. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) and other members of the Essex County delegation sought $25 million in transitional aid for Newark. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



On party lines, senators debate the FY2015 Budget: O’Toole v. Greenstein

TRENTON – In a set-piece struggling hard to rival USA v Germany, Republicans and Democrats kicked around the state budget this afternoon, with the GOP arguing the fiscal necessity of keeping wealthiest New Jerseyans in the state and Democrats making the case for nicking the rich to help everyone else. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Budget Debate: Singer and the golden egg argument v. Vitale and ‘our millionaire friends’

TRENTON – Everyone tried to get an elbow in – but in a civil way. No one appeared to want to leave bite marks on this budget process. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Rice blames Quintana administration for aid debacle in Newark; hopeful of Christie’s largesse

TRENTON – Veteran state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28) said he’s not especially worried about Newark right now in this budget process. It’s dangerous, but doable, he insisted. “Newark is going to have to submit applications for some of its transitional aid – the date has been extended as it pertains to transitional aid,” said Rice, a backer of Mayor-elect Ras Baraka. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



World Cup fever adds flavor to budget battle in Trenton

TRENTON – While the Legislature fought to push through the state budget on a sweltering Thursday afternoon, the scene inside the office of the prominent lobbying group Princeton Public Affairs Group (PPAG) was considerably cooler, figuratively and literally. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)



Assembly passes budget bill by a vote of 48-31

TRENTON – The Assembly just passed the FY2015 budget. The party line vote tally was 48 Democrats in favor of the $34.1 billion budget and 31 Republicans against. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Budget 2014: Dems collide with GOP in soundbite war prior to the inevitable

TRENTON – Their counterparts in the Senate having wrapped up hours earlier, debate over the state budget in the Assembly continued into the afternoon prior to its passage. “This is not a great budget, but it is a necessary budget,” Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36) said during a passionate plea on the floor. He urged the state to remember its obligations, adding that the Democrats “take no pleasure in additional new taxes.” (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



In Paterson, Torres transition team includes former DCA Commish Grifa

Mayor-elect Jose ‘Joey’ Torres today announced members of his transition team, who will complete a thorough review of key city departments and agencies to provide Mayor-elect Torres with information needed to make important policy and personnel decisions. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)



Pressure is on for Christie to fund pensions

Democrats on Thursday expected Governor Christie to veto the tax increase on high-income earners when they sent it to his desk for a fourth time, but this time they’re using the measure to send a message to a judge that there is an alternative to slashing state pension contributions. The Senate and Assembly, both controlled by Democrats, sent Christie a $34.1 billion budget with party-line votes. They also approved two tax hikes to support that budget, including the latest attempt to increase taxes on income over $1 million. (Hayes, Reitmeyer/The Bergen Record)



NJ lawmakers advance bill to give public Camden employees up to $6K a year in added retirement benefits

Lawmakers advanced a measure that could give hundreds of public employees in Camden up to $6,000 a year each in added retirement benefits, even as Governor Christie wants to cut nearly $900 million in scheduled payments to pension system and rails against such benefits for public employees. The bill, which was passed by both houses of the Legislature on Thursday and is expected to be signed by Christie, would also benefit so-called “renaissance” schools being established in Camden. (Pillets/The Bergen Record)



Christie, Democratic Lawmakers Face Off Over Tax Increases in State Budget

Mr. Christie, a Republican, has pledged to veto any tax increases delivered to his desk by the Democrat-led Legislature. His office declined to comment on Thursday. He and the Legislature have until Monday to pass a balanced budget.  Democrats said the budget was responsible and honored a 2011 law to phase in growing pension payments for public workers. The Senate passed it 24 to 16, and the Assembly, 48 to 31, largely along party lines. (Haddon/The Wall Street Journal)



N.J. Legislature passes $34B budget with tax hikes Christie has vowed to veto

TRENTON – In party-line votes, Democratic lawmakers on Thursday approved a $34.1 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning Tuesday, funded in part by two tax increases Gov. Christie has pledged to veto. The plan – which includes a three-year tax increase on income over $1 million and a one-year surcharge on the corporation business tax – cleared the Senate and Assembly, both controlled by Democrats. Debate centered on the tax increases, with Republicans arguing that the state would drive out its most successful. (Hanna, Seidman/The Philadelphia Inquirer)



Chris Christie comes under attack for use of state helicopter by group with ties to Hillary Clinton

Gov. Chris Christie’s recent use of the state-owned helicopter is coming under fire from a Washington D.C.-based super PAC with ties to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Arco/NJ Advance Media)



Ex-freeholder, campaign chief settle suit

Former Bergen County Freeholder Robert Hermansen and his ex-campaign manager Deirdre Woodbyrne reached an out-of-court settlement Thursday in her lawsuit seeking $10,000 that she claimed he owed her for work on his unsuccessful 2012 reelection campaign. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)



Twenty-five years at Clifton’s helm

CLIFTON – On Monday, as the calendar turns its pages to July, the City’s chief elected official will mark a quarter-century of service as Clifton’s mayor. Born and raised in Clifton, James Anzaldi received a degree in political science from Fairleigh Dickinson, after passing through the Clifton Public Schools system. (Gicas/The Bergen Record)



The Backroom


Caposela to serve as new Passaic Vicinage assignment judge

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner today announced that Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela will be the new Passaic Vicinage assignment judge, effective July 27. He succeeds Assignment Judge Donald J. Volkert Jr., who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on July 27. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)





Doblin: Parents of developmentally disabled adults aren’t consumers

IT WAS CHRISTMAS 1989 or 1990; too much time has passed for me to be certain. My sister was living in Ridgewood, I in Detroit, and our parents were in an assisted-living complex in Lakeland, Fla. My sister, her then-husband and my niece had moved from Lakeland back north earlier that year. (Doblin/The Bergen Record)



On property taxes, Christie’s not doing much of a job either

I’m sitting in the state Senate chamber watching the big debate over the Democrats’ proposed tax hikes in the 2015 budget. The Republicans are making some good arguments against it. Joe Kyrillos, who represents an affluent district in northern Monmouth County with lots of Wall Street workers, pointed out that many of the big houses in his district belong to people who are actually Florida residents. (Mulshine/The Star-Ledger)



The nice Chris Christie no match for Hillary Clinton

These days, Chris Christie will go just about anywhere. He no longer wants to be seen as the in-your-face governor of New Jersey, but as the genial ambassador from the Republican Governors Association who just wants to help, or as the non-presidential candidate, who just wants to wander Iowa and New Hampshire. Last week, he showed up in Washington to speak to a gathering organized by Ralph Reed — the disgraced ally of gambling lobbyist-felon Jack Abramoff who is now running a successor group to the Christian Coalition. (Carlson/The Morning Call),0,5106198.column

Morning Digest: June 27th