PolitickerNJ News Digest: January 28th

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It’s Thursday morning, and the fallout continues from the state’s plan to take over Atlantic City, with residents and politicians weighing in. Meanwhile, it’s still stormy times for the governor and the state following this weekend’s snow.

Quote of the Day: “The fact is that no one speaks for the Assembly except for the Assembly. If the Assembly is not involved, then there is no agreement,” – Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto, offering lukewarm support for a state takeover of Atlantic City.

As Takeover Becomes ‘Partnership,’ AC Residents Demand Content of Negotiatons
Following Governor Christie’s endorsement of a state takeover plan from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) Tuesday afternoon, an Atlantic City City Council meeting saw residents and local officials struggle to keep the peace as residents demanded to know the content of a two-hour executive session where Sweeney met with Mayor Don Guardian and members of the city council.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Prieto Remains Cautious as Sweeney Takes Center Stage in AC Drama
Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) saw the first information-gathering hearings for his anti-poverty initiative take place Wednesday, just hours after Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) went down to Atlantic City to take part in an executive session of its City Council on his own scrapped state takeover bill.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie’s Storm Comments Give Republican Assemblyman ‘Pause’
Gov. Chris Christie’s back and forth flap with a reporter on MSNBC in the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas and his denial of significant damage wrought by the storm have one Republican member of the New Jersey State Assembly reexamining his endorsement of Christie for president.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Wisniewski and Rumana Clash on NJ Transit Funding
Assemblymen John Wisniewski (D-19) and Scott Rumana (R-40) exchanged sharp words with each other Wednesday over possible solutions for the state’s underfunded NJ Transit system, with Wisniewski calling for a raise in the minimum wage as Rumana defended making further cuts while raising fares. When things got heated between the two, Wisniewski turned his criticisms to the Christie administration and pointed to what he characterized as its long-term mismanagement of the commuter line.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Healthcare Union Members Weigh in on Presidential Politics
Members of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) union filled tables of a window-lined ballroom at the Forsgate Country Club on Monday at their organization’s Leadership and Bargaining Conference. Central topics included the organization’s new web resource called “Merger Monitor,” how members could protect the future of unions like their own, and the grassroots legislative efforts the HPAE is making to push safe staffing and accountability legislation.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Newark and the Storm
First, I would like to thank the people of Newark for your patience as we continue to work clean up after this record-setting blizzard. Many of our dedicated citizens came out to assist us and we are grateful for your support and continued belief in the power of unity in this great City of ours. Our residents are our biggest strength and you have helped each other out during this emergency — digging out your neighbors, looking in on the elderly and disabled, even providing your own plows
Ras Baraka, PolitickerNJ Read more

LoBiondo Disputes Van Drew’s Demands of Christie After South Jersey Flooding
Touring the city with U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez after the weekend’s record-breaking blizzard brought extensive flooding and property damage to the region, U.S. Representative Frank LoBiondo said Tuesday that he has been pleased with the state’s emergency response efforts. Despite the controversy surrounding Governor Chris Christie, his flat-out denial of flooding in Cape May, and his laying into North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, LoBiondo said that he still supports Christie’s presidential campaign despite the tension.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Investment gains for N.J.’s pension fund fell sharply last fiscal year
Investment gains for New Jersey’s $79 billion pension fund fell sharply in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and those pension investments are in negative territory so far this year, state officials reported Wednesday.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

N.J. legislative hearings focus on tackling poverty
A day-long series of legislative hearings Wednesday on how New Jersey can best address persistent levels of poverty raked up some oft-debated issues.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Newark councilman: Top official should resign over snowstorm response
As public frustration with the handling of the weekend’s winter storm continues to simmer, Councilman Augusto Amador has announced his intention to call for the resignation of Director of Neighborhood and Recreational Services Patrick Council.
Dan Ivers, NJ.com Read more

Christie raising campaign cash off Trump debate boycott
Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign is seeking to profit off businessman Donald Trump’s decision to boycott Thursday’s Fox News Channel debate.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. should be ’embarrassed’ by high poverty rate, Assembly speaker says
Providing pre-school for all children. Raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing a few paid sick days a year. Eliminating “the bureaucratic mess” that prevents low-income people from accessing the assistance programs created for them.
Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Despite push from Christie, Atlantic City still in trouble
Soon after taking office in 2010, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took stock of problems around the state and saw a big one on the beach: Atlantic City.
Wayne Parry, Associated Press Read more

A.C. emergency manager Lavin gets new job at advisory firm
Kevin, we hardly knew ya.
Atlantic City’s now former emergency manager, Kevin Lavin, got a new job this week. Ankura Consulting Group, a business advisory and expert services firm, said Tuesday that he will serve as co-president of the company.
Christian Hetrick, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: January 28th