Morning Digest sponsored by M Public Affairs: June 25th

Adam Steinberger Joins Fast-Growing Team at M Public Affairs: M Public Affairs, the firm founded by Maggie Moran, is pleased to announce the addition of Adam Steinberger, Thomas Meara, Jaclyn LaBarbera, Elie Jacobs, and Ben Rubin to the firm’s fast growing public affairs team. Steinberger, most recently the manager of Bonnie Watson Coleman’s successful Congressional District 12 primary campaign, joins MPA’s roster of 15 strategic counselors operating across the Northeast. At MPA, Steinberger will play a key role building upon the firm’s accomplished track record of developing and executing innovative public affairs strategies throughout New Jersey and the United States. Learn about us at:  



Senate Budget Committee releases S-2015: the Democrats’ $34.1 billion budget

TRENTON – Voting on party lines, the Senate Budget Committee tonight released a $34.1 billion budget for the 2015 fiscal year, a document that is $302 million less than the governor’s proposed budget, boasted Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-36) by way of introduction. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Van Drew votes yes on millionaires’ tax

TRENTON – State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) joined his Democratic colleagues in voting in favor of the millionaires’ tax to turn the bill out of the Senate Budget Committee with all eight Democrats voting aye. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Assembly Budget Committee releases Democrats’ millionaires’ tax bill

TRENTON – The Assembly Budget Committee passed on party lines a bill by by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) to change the state’s gross income tax rate from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent for the wealthiest roughly 16,000 taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $1 million, restoring it to its 2009 level for a temporary three-year period over taxable years 2014, 2015 and 2016. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Essex delegation seeks meeting with Christie in midst of budget unease

TRENTON – When Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo publicly backed the re-election of Gov. Chris Christie over the ear-chewing of fellow Democrats who begged him to stay neutral, Joe D’s allies had a simple retort. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Sources: Prieto prevails over Cryan, others in backroom Assembly budget debate

TRENTON – The optics created more than a few grunts of discontent. There was Gov. Chris Christie shagging softballs with Boomer Esiason while members of the Democratic caucus once again found themselves crammed into a chamber feeling gamed. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)



Fulop rallies Democrats in Hamilton Twp.

HAMILTON – Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop found himself flung far from the gleaming skyline of his home turf on the Hudson Tuesday night, when he appeared as guest speaker at a local Democrats’ event in Hamilton to talk about his rise in politics and his vision for the future of the Democratic Party in New Jersey. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)



New Jersey Democratic lawmakers working into the night on budget plan

Despite Governor Christie’s promised veto, Democratic lawmakers worked well into the night Tuesday and cleared a budget bill that relies on new revenue from tax increases on corporations and New Jersey’s millionaires. The Assembly Budget Committee voted along party lines, 8-4, to approve both tax hikes and a $34.1 billion state budget. (Reitmeyer, Linhorst/The Bergen Record)



Christie signs arbitration cap on raises for police, firefighter unions

A cap on raises police and firefighter unions can get in certain contract disputes is now law – again. The 2-percent limit on raises first became law in 2010 as part of the state’s effort to limit the growth of property taxes. The law expired this year at the end of March. (Linhorst/The Bergen Record)



Pensions center stage today for Christie in court

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014, and though Gov. Chris Christie is talking pension reform, the most vital pension conversation, at least in the short term, is being held in a Trenton courtroom this afternoon. (Symons/The Asbury Park Press)



N.J. Budget drama filled with politics

The negotiations over the state budget that is scheduled to be in place by July 1 have not been easy. Mix 2016 presidential politics and 2017 gubernatorial politics, add a dash of 2015 mid-term election politics and sprinkle with a court case that could throw everything into turmoil, and you have a toxic gumbo that will have an aftertaste that will last far beyond the end-of-the-month deadline. (Schoonejongen/The Asbury Park Press)



Exclusive: Logs Show Dozens of Calls Between Former Port Chief & Top Christie Aides

Gov. Christie’s former top man at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, was in frequent contact with top aides at the statehouse during the week lanes were shut down at the George Washington Bridge, newly released documents show. Samson, the subject of multiple probes, resigned in March. (Bernstein/WNYC)



Weinberg sets sights on Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC

The last time state Sen. Loretta Weinberg began confronting Port Authority officials, she wanted answers about lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, a traffic-snarling debacle that is now the subject of state and federal investigations. Weinberg (D-Bergen), now the co-chairwoman of a joint legislative panel that brought much of the scandal to light, plans to press the agency at its monthly board meeting on what she says is the failure to address delays, discomfort, pollution, financial waste and other problems at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. (Strunsky/The Star-Ledger)



N.J. Supreme Court to hear case involving Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman

The state Supreme Court has agreed to here a case concerning whether Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman was eligible for a diversionary program for what prosecutors say were offenses that constituted official misconduct. (Phillis/The Bergen Record)


The battle to be the ‘conservative’ in the Republican presidential field is on. Here’s who’s winning

When Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) announced last week that he intended to withdraw the state of Louisiana from the federal government’s “Common Core” educational standards, it was easy to read the move as being less about reading and writing than about arithmetic. Namely: How to add up enough conservative votes to win the 2016 Republican nomination. To belabor the metaphor, it probably won’t add up for Jindal. (Bump/The Washington Post)


Brewing NJ tax war – why 16,000 may pay more

TRENTON – Democrats have settled on the income-tax hike Gov. Chris Christie gets to veto this year. Roughly 16,000 taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would pay nearly $725 million in additional income taxes, rather than the roughly 47,000 that would have been directly impacted if tax increases began at $500,000, as Senate President Stephen Sweeney proposed. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, whose majority is atop the November ballot next year, wanted the higher threshold. Democrats want the tax to be imposed for three years. (Symons/Gannett)



Here’s What You Need to Know About Chris Christie’s Latest Bridge Scandal

The scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge has hurt New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions, but just when Christie seemed to be moving past it, another bridge scandal put him back in the news Tuesday for all the wrong reasons. (Worland/Time)



Hackensack fires communications firm in apparent shakeup

The spokesman for the city of Hackensack was abruptly fired Tuesday and his ally, interim City Manager Anthony Rottino, was notified that his job is in jeopardy in a government shake-up that also signals a major shift on the City Council. (Adely, Koloff/The Bergen Record)



Whistle-blower suits, like the one filed in Hackensack, carry risk

Whistle-blower actions like the lawsuit filed this week by Anthony Rottino, Hackensack’s city manager, are tough to win. They must be based on a certain set of circumstances and are usually vigorously defended by employers, who face significant costs if they lose. (Rimbach/The Bergen Record)



Highland Park’s newest mayor is sworn in

HIGHLAND PARK – Gayle Brill Mittler was sworn in Tuesday as mayor of Highland Park at a special meeting of the Borough Council. She will replace former Mayor Gary Minkoff, who resigned June 10 to pursue business and teaching opportunities. (Loyer/Home News Tribune)



Bob Hurley becomes president at St. Anthony in Jersey City

Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr.  has a new title at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, where he has coached since 1968. He has been appointed president. (Fernandes/The Jersey Journal)




Bayonne: Menendez to swear-in Davis

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will swear-in Bayonne Mayor-elect Jimmy Davis next month. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)




Who Isn’t Investigating Chris Christie?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie once treated controversy like a gnat who made the unfortunate mistake of flying past the wrong head. Nothing could touch him–that is, until the scandal involving lane closures on the George Washington Bridge turned him into a laughingstock and threatened to swat his political future away from his grasp forever. (Nuzzi/The Daily Beast)



A letter to President Obama

Our country is facing a national security and humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that more than 52,000 unaccompanied youth have illegally crossed the border — almost double last year’s total.  A majority of these young people may experience violence, sexual abuse or other forms of exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous drug cartels, human traffickers and smugglers. (Lance/for PolitickerNJ)



Opinion: Proposed DEP rules sell out the N.J. Coast for more high-density development

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has proposed new rules to regulate development on our coast for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. Instead of looking to strengthen coastal protections and encourage more regional planning, the rules propose more loopholes and waivers and further weaken coastal protections. (Sandberg/for The Trenton Times)


Morning Digest sponsored by M Public Affairs: June 25th