PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 8th



Good morning, it’s Tuesday, where No Child Left Behind, gun control and presidential polls are dominating the news.

Quote of the Day: “We want to, and still need to, find out how a senior staffer in the governor’s office could unilaterally commandeer the apparatus of the Port Authority, shutting down a bridge, with seemingly no oversight. We need to prevent that misuse or abuse of power.” – Assemblyman John Wisniewski, on one reason why he’s considering a run for governor.

On Eve of Vote, Booker and Menendez Address Education Reform
U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez joined NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer for a conference call on the eve of a vote that, if passed, will reform education in the United States. On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on a reconciled version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESS) which will most likely pass due to bipartisan support for the measures.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Bill Spadea’s Power Position at New Jersey 101.5 FM
Every year at this time, I look forward to reading the PolitickerNJ Power List. It is always an accurate barometer as to who are the key current power players in New Jersey politics.
I have been right and wrong in making political predictions in New Jersey, but I will go out on a limb regarding the 2016 Power List. You will see in the top 10 the name Bill Spadea, who recently replaced the venerable Jim Gearhart as the morning show host on New Jersey 101.5 FM, the Garden State’s most popular talk radio show.
Alan Steinberg, PolitickerNJ Read more

Weinberg Gun Control Bill Passes Senate
Facing little opposition during its third and final reading, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s (D-37) bill to oblige gun retailers to stock personalized handguns passed the Senate 22 to 15 on Monday.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Wisniewski Considers Gubernatorial Run, Says Governorship Too Powerful
When Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) took to the stage at Rider University last week, the Democrat gave an assessment of the state of New Jersey as it is today. That appraisal didn’t paint a pretty picture. He said the “deck is stacked against the average American” and that, if it wasn’t he “wouldn’t be considering running for governor.”
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Jeb Backs Christie Prez Bid
Okay, not Jeb Bush, but Jeb Bradley.
Things haven’t gotten that bad in the “Jeb can fix it” campaign.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

At State House Vigil, Faith Groups to Fast for Immigrant Driver’s Licenses
On the first day of what demonstrators said would be a full week of fasting and prayer, members of several faith-based groups gathered in front of the state house Monday morning to urge the Senate’s action on a bill to offer a new class of driver’s license to undocumented immigrants.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Cruz Overtakes Trump in Latest Monmouth Poll
A new poll of Iowa Republicans puts Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) ahead of early national frontrunner Donald Trump. Cruz pulled ahead with 24% support against Trump’s 19%, which the poll attributed to a recent endorsement from Congressman Steve King and Cruz’s popularity with the Iowa Caucus’ strong evangelical contingent.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie: Obama’s call for greater gun control is ‘absurd’
Gov. Chris Christie criticized President Obama’s address to the nation over the domestic terror attack in San Bernardino as “much ado about nothing” Monday morning, and described the president’s call for greater gun control over assault weapons “absurd.”
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Sweeney pushes forcing bigger N.J. pension payments by changing constitution
State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney introduced legislation Monday that would cement state officials’ promises to fund government workers’ pensions in the New Jersey constitution.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

How to pay for Gateway Tunnel? Lawmakers give commuters more answers
With a five-year transportation bill that includes three possible funding sources to build the $20 billion Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson River, federal lawmakers said the legislation puts the region closer to getting the cash to pay it.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Outgoing Burlco freeholder Belgard nominated as judge
Gov. Christie has nominated Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for a congressional seat last year, for a state Superior Court judgeship.
Jan Hefler, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

In historic shift, hospitals may pay ‘property tax’ under bill
Non-profit hospitals in New Jersey, which operated for decades without paying property tax, may find that benefit ending.
Tim Darragh, NJ.com Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Dec. 8th