PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 11th

Prieto, Diaz and Former Governor Florio.

Prieto, Diaz and Former Governor Florio.

It’s Friday morning and New Jersey politicians are still fighting over pensions and guns and Donald Trump’s refugee rebuke.
Quote of the Day: “New Jersey would love to see four leaders in the room with the governor. Let’s get it done, let’s fix it and then we can get the governor to sign it,” – Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, callling on Democrats to meet with Republicans to discuss a Republican gun control measure.
Laying Pension Blame on Christie, Sweeney Defends Constitutional Amendment 
 Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) his proposed constitutional amendment to address New Jersey’s $80 billion pension shortfall at the statehouse Thursday, responding to criticism from the Republican caucus calling the plan short-sighted.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Bramnick Calls for Compromise on Gun Legislation
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana held a press call to discuss the recently emphasized gun legislation that had been vetoed by the Governor. In the Senate, that veto was overridden when Democrats under the leadership of Senate President Steve Sweeney were able to secure enough Republican votes. Earlier this month, the Assembly couldn’t match Sweeney’s victory when Democrats failed to secure the number of votes needed to complete the override.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more
Industrial Hemp Bills Clear Assembly Committee
 A bill to allow industrial hemp farming and distribution in New Jersey cleared a hearing of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee in what sponsor Reed Guscoria (D-15) called a victory for economic development in the state.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Assembly Panel Releases Bill That Could Ban Helicopter Tourism in NJ
A bill that could potentially ban all tourist helicopter flights in New Jersey on grounds of public health a safety concerns cleared the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee Thursday.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more 
Ciattarelli Blasts Trump
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) issued a stinging statement tonight in response to the presidential candidacy of real estate tycoon Donald Trump.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more
2017-Seeking Fulop Makes the Rounds in Essex and Hudson 
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop straddled Hudson and Essex counties on Wednesday night, lending a voice to the projected alliance between Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos at the latter’s fundraiser; then addressing the Hudson County Young Democrats at an energized event.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more 
Job Training Bill Former Casino Workers Released from Committee 
 The Senate Labor Committee released a bill (S2840) from committee Thursday morning that would create new job training programs for laid off casino workers following the several casino closures in Atlantic City the last two years.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more
Golden: Delay Cost Democrats Override Chance
Timing, as any successful comedian will attest, is everything. Had Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto paid heed to that truism, the first override of a Gov. Chris Christie veto may well have succeeded.
Carl Golden, NJSpotlight Read more
Ex-Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, brother lose federal appeal
A federal appeals court has upheld the public corruption convictions of former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and his brother Ralphiel Mack, who were found guilty in early 2014 of bribery and extortion.
Kevin Shea, NJ.com Read more 
Christie approval rating drops to new low in New Jersey, poll says 
Governor Christie’s popularity may be increasing in New Hampshire, but it has dropped to a new low in New Jersey, according to a poll released Thursday by Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more
N.J. lawmakers consider measures on pension contributions, boosting buying age for tobacco products 
Lawmakers moved Thursday to raise the age to buy a pack of cigarettes to the same as that for a six-pack of beer and worked to amend the constitution to require public employee pension fund payments.
Dustin Racioppi and Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more
Port Authority votes to assume lead role in $20B Hudson River rail tunnel project 
The Port Authority’s commissioners voted Thursday to assume the lead role in a $20 billion project that is expected to double rail capacity between New York and New Jersey.
Paul Berger, The Record Read more
Christie lawyer in GWB lane closing probe now raising funds for his campaign
A lawyer who was part of the team hired by Governor Christie last year to investigate his administration’s role in the George Washington Bridge scandal is now raising funds for his presidential campaign.
Salvador Rizzo,  NJ.Com  Read more
Proposed N.J. bill would allow counties to impose hotel tax 
Hotel rooms are already subject to state occupancy and sales taxes, and all municipalities are allowed to impose their own levy. Now the Legislature is proposing letting counties start collecting.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more
Déjà vu: Jersey City to vote again on election move
In the latest twist in the never-ending saga that is Mayor Steve Fulop’s attempt to move city elections from May to November, Fulop is withdrawing his support of a measure that would have led to the City Council formalizing the change as early as next week.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more
DiVincenzo campaign spending case headed to court 
The state Election Law Enforcement Commission is heading to court next week in an effort to keep alive its two-year-old case against Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, accused of spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including gym membership fees and tickets to sporting events.
Ted Sherman, NJ.com Read more
Congresswoman Watson Coleman: Scalia ‘ignorant and racist’
The state’s first African-American congresswoman has taken offense to comments made by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia about affirmative action.
David Foster, The Trentonian Read more
PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 11th