Assembly Committee passes UEZ bill for AC as Christie vetoes returning revenues to UEZs
TRENTON — In small twist of irony not uncommon to New Jersey statehouse politics, an Assembly committee passed a bill today creating an Urban Enterprise Zone for a beleaguered Atlantic City just as Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a separate piece of legislation that would have returned millions of dollars in state sales tax revenue to such zones.
The Assembly bill (A-3920), aimed at creating jobs and spurring economic development in the embattled seaside city by designating it an UEZ, was passed along party lines this afternoon by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee. Members engaged in minor debate before releasing the bill, with the committee’s six Democrats getting behind the legislation and its three Republicans opposing it. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
‘Plantation mentality’: Rice goes off on Fulop for LD31 meddling
TRENTON — Seeing the future of one of his own members in jeopardy, the chairman of the state’s legislative black caucus today lashed out at the political maneuverings of an upwardly-mobile Steve Fulop in North Jersey’s 31st legislative district, where Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), apparently facing a challenge by Jersey City Councilwoman-at-large Joyce Watterman, will fight for his seat in November’s general election.
“I’m with [Mainor]. I support all the members of the legislative black caucus and others down here doing their jobs,” said state Senator Ron Rice (D-28). (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Belmar mayor starts bipartisan fundraising drive to help get two Sandy-displaced families home
BELMAR – Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty announced the creation of a private fundraising effort meant to help two Belmar families return to their homes more than two years after Hurricane Sandy decimated the seaside Monmouth County borough.
The goal of the drive, named “Home By Summer”, is to raise a total of $200,000 to be split evenly between two families who have experienced a series of frustrations and disappointments in their attempts to rebuild and return home. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
NJ Dems urge residents to sign up for health coverage before looming ACA deadline
TRENTON — Assembly and Senate Democrats announced a final push today to get New Jersey residents signed-up for health care coverage before a looming Feb. 15 deadline of the Affordable Care Act’s second enrollment period.
“What the people of this state need to know is that healthcare insurance is just a phone call away or a click away,” said state Senator Nia Gill (D-34) during a press conference in the statehouse, where lawmakers joined HHS Region II Director Jackie Cornell-Bechelli and representatives of the non-profit Enroll America to increase statewide outreach and enrollment opportunities for residents. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Muoio takes the oath of office to represent LD15
Pennington resident Elizabeth Maher Muoio assumed the oath of office Thursday as the newest legislative representative for the 15th district.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) did the honors.
Muoio will take the seat vacated by former Assemblywoman (and now U.S. Rep.) Bonnie Watson Coleman. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Chris Christie faces new federal investigation over quashed indictments
Federal authorities have kicked off a criminal investigation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, along with a handful of his administration members, alleging they broke the law by quashing grand jury indictments against the governor’s supporters.
The U.S. Department of Justice sent two investigators to talk to the person who made the allegations, Bennett Barlyn, the International Business Times reported. Mr. Barlyn was fired from the Hunterdon County prosecutor’s office in August 2010, and shortly after, filed a whistleblower suit against Mr. Christie and his administration. (Chumley/The Washington Times)
Feds probe Samson travel records, according to Record report
According to a report tonight by Bergen Record reporter Shawn Boborg, federal prosecutors have demanded that the Port Authority turn over records related to the personal travel of the agency’s former chairman David Samson.
The feds also want to know about Samson’s relationship with Newark Liberty International Airport’s largest carrier, United Airlines, according to multiple sources, “a development that opens yet another line of inquiry in what has become a sprawling criminal investigation,” the report says.
Jay Webber named to Reagan Ranch Board of Governors
In advance of the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth on February 6th, Assemblyman Jay Webber and Young America’s Foundation have announced that Assemblyman Webber has been named to the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors of Young America’s Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and protecting President Reagan’s Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. The Reagan Ranch Board of Governors includes Reagan Administration officials Frank Donatelli, Attorney General Edwin Meese, and Governor George Allen.
Sweeney laments Christie’s veto of ‘Made in America’ bills
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) reacted with dismay on Thursday to Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes of a series of bills(S-1811/S-2045/S-2048/S-2061/S-2062) that would require the use of American-made products when public funds are used by state and bi-state entities.
“This is a lost opportunity to help create jobs and to support domestic businesses,” said Sweeney. “The ‘Made In America’ bills are more than an expression of economic patriotism, they could have been an effective way of boosting the state’s economy.
New Jersey Celebrates 350 Years By Popping Up on Main Streets State Wide
In 2014, New Jersey turned 350 years old. As a way to celebrate this historic year, Main Street New Jersey Executive Director Jef Buehler wanted to create something that both celebrated New Jersey’s history as well as would create economic impact across the state. The result was NJ350 Pop-Up Program, a year long initiative that developed various pop-up stores throughout the state over the course of 2014. (Leinbach-Reyhle/Forbes)