PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 12th

Sweeney, Prieto and Christie at the January 11 press conference.

Sweeney, Prieto and Christie at the January 11 press conference.

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, and it seems Democrats in Trenton have smoothed over their differences and plan to give voters a chance to decide on expanding casino gaming in New Jersey. Who was the winner? Opinions vary, as do feelings on whether or not Atlantic City deserves to retain its monopoly on gambling in the state.

Quote of the Day: “We have agreed to an issue – we want real investment, not slots in the box,” – Senate President Steve Sweeney, on the compromise to place casino expansion question on state ballot.

Deal Tentatively in Place for 2016 North Jersey Casinos Referendum
The legislature has a deal on a casino referendum question, Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) told PolitickerNJ.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie Applauds Legislative Deal for Casino Ballot Question
Flanked by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), Gov. Chris Christie affirmed a Statehouse deal for a North Jersey casino referendum question lawmakers say would enable a $5 billion investment that will create 12,000 jobs.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Doherty: ‘God Bless Atlantic City, but it’s been a Failure’
State Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), a movement conservative who is an oft-whispered 2017 Republican candidate for governor – this afternoon refused to support Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) North Jersey casino referendum bill.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Source: ‘Sweeney Got Everything He Wanted’
According to one Trenton insider, the outcome of today’s hotly debated casino question has stacked the cards in favor of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) over his gubernatorial adversary Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Source: Sweeney’s Insipid Theatrics Don’t Diminish Prieto’s Substance
On the heels of a Trenton insider opining that Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) notched a big win this afternoon with northern casino referendum bill, another insider – close to the Assembly Democrats – bitterly disagreed
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Supporters’ Reservations Surface as Sweeney Casino Bill Passes
The Senate passed a bill from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to expand casino gaming into North Jersey this afternoon, with only a handful of senators voting ‘no.’ The measure passed 33 to 6. Despite the large margin of support, even many of Sweeney’s allies were hesitant to praise the bill as they voted ‘yes.’
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Monmouth Poll: Trump Widens his Lead in New Hampshire
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump has increased his already sizable lead in the New Hampshire Republican primary while three candidates battle for second place according to this afternoon’s Monmouth University Poll. Only 1-in-3 voters have completely locked in their vote choice, while 1-in-4 are still very much up for grabs. Another 4-in-10 voters have a strong candidate preference but are willing to keep their options open.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Emerge NJ Accepts 20 Democratic Women for Political Training Program
Twenty women from around New Jersey have been accepted into Emerge New Jersey’s political training program. Emerge is a group dedicated to helping women Democrats from throughout the state to become more involved in the political process and gain skills needed to run for office.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Humor: Text of Christie 2016 State of the State Speech Leaked from Hacked Email
Jon & Tom:
It’s been a while since I have seen you guys, hope everything is going well in Trenton and on State Street.
Joey Novick, PolitickerNJ Read more

Vitale Says He Will Vote for Sweeney’s Casino Bill
Senator Joseph Vitale (D-19) says he is prepared to vote in favor of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s casino bill.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Trenton Bedlam: Mullen Takes a Shot at Fulop in the Statehouse Basement
Bill Mullen, president of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, went after Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop this morning as he urged Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) to post Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) northern casinos bill.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. Legislature sends smart-gun bill to Christie
The proposal to amend a 20-year-old law and require smart guns be sold across New Jersey was approved by the Legislature on Monday, sending it to Governor Christie.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Christie signs bill to allowing developmentally disabled adults to remain in out-of-state facilities
Adults with developmental disabilities living in specialized facilities out of state will no longer be forced back to New Jersey under a new law signed by Governor Christie on Monday.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Opinion: N.J. taxpayers will pay $3 for every $1 Christie skipped on pension payments
In the debate over whether New Jersey should pass a ballot question this year to require the state to fulfill its obligation to fund public-worker pensions, the answer to one extremely important question has been spun by politicians in a variety of directions: What happens if the state continues to follow Gov. Chris Christie’s current path and doesn’t pay the required amount and lets the pension funds run out money? Kept in mind that actuaries agree this will begin to happen in six short years when the PERS pension system hits its depletion date in 2022.
Robert D. Klausner, NJSpotlight Read more

Christie vetoes state-run private-sector retirement plan
Gov. Chris Christie on Monday vetoed a bill that would have created a state-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector workers, instead suggesting a retirement marketplace for small businesses.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Jersey City Muslim leader to be Cory Booker’s State of the Union guest
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has invited the leader of a Jersey City mosque to be his guest in Washington, D.C., tomorrow as President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Christie expected to use State of State to answer rivals’ attacks on his NJ record
Gov. Chris Christie will take a break from his presidential campaign to address lawmakers in his home state, where he has been largely absent in the last year, on Tuesday when he is scheduled to deliver his fifth State of the State speech.
David Levinsky, Burlington County Times Read more

Christie supports LePage after racially charged remarks
Gov. Christie reiterated his support for Maine Gov. Paul LePage in an interview that aired Monday, saying his respect for LePage wasn’t diminished by the governor’s racially charged remarks.
Maddie Hanna, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

Christie returns home to reclaim N.J. narrative
Outside groups backing Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich are blitzing New Hampshire with attack ads that portray Gov. Christie’s New Jersey as a wasteland of high taxes and credit downgrades, a laboratory for expansion of Obamacare, and home to a governor with unscrupulous aides under criminal indictment.
Andrew Seidman, Philadelphia Inquirer Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Jan. 12th