PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 4th

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It’s Thursday in New Jersey and the legislature is in session, the governor is in New Hampshire and an Essex County politician is in trouble.

Quote of the Day: “I’ll beat her rear end on that stage,” – Gov. Chris Christie, describing why Hillary Clinton should fear facing him in a debate.
Today’s Legislative Preview
Prominent bills on flood protection for home-owners, state grants for developers and environmental hot buttons like natural gas will see committee hearings this Thursday, along with a previously vetoed measure to allow transgender New Jerseyans to alter their birth certificates without having to undergo surgery. Assembly Republicans will also see their alternative to a failed mental health record expungement bill go to committee after its introduction last month.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Vainieri Huttle Rushes to Clinton’s Aid After Christie Says He’ll ‘Beat Her Rear End’
In the face of Gov. Chris Christie chest-thumping about how he will “beat” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “rear end,” Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D-37) struck back at the 24-7 New Hampshire-frenetic Republican prez candidate.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

A Tale of Two Governors: Kasich and Christie on the Campaign Trail
Both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ohio Governor John Kasich have a lot riding on the February 9 New Hampshire primary election. The Republicans are just two in a still-crowded field of establishment-friendly candidates that also includes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

On Its Third Try, Transgender Rights Bill Could Bring New Override Challenges
Following two vetoes from Governor Chris Christie and a failed Senate override last year, a bill to allow transgender New Jerseyans to change the sex listed on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery will return for its third try tomorrow.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Notice of Intent to Recall Bloomfield Councilman Elias Chalet Filed
Last week, Bloomfield Councilman Elias Chalet was indicted on charges that he accepted $15,000 from a business owner and promised to use his position to secure the purchase of a commercial property. Now, a recall committee has moved forward with the intention to recall Chalet from his position as first ward councilman.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

AG: Head of Company that Contracted with DEP for Fenimore Cleanup Indicted
Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman todday announced that a Monmouth County man and the company he ran, Strategic Environmental Partners (SEP), have been indicted on charges including theft by deception and first-degree money laundering for allegedly lying to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the former landowner about their capacity and plans to properly close the Fenimore landfill in Roxbury, Morris County, and develop the site into a solar farm.
Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ Read more

Offensive Trademarks and the First Amendment
While the Washington Redskins trademark is offensive to Native Americans, the courts may not be able to do anything about it. The First Amendment protects free speech, even when it’s hurtful.
Donald Scarinci, PolitickerNJ Read more

N.J. Democrats will push for $15 minimum wage
Assembly Democrats are planning a push to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, a nearly 80 percent increase from what the state has now.
Samantha Marcus and Susan K. Livio, NJ.com Read more

Why 11 N.J. cities have more lead-affected kids than Flint, Michigan
Eleven cities in New Jersey, and two counties, have a higher proportion of young children with dangerous lead levels than Flint, Mich., does, according to New Jersey and Michigan statistics cited by a community advocacy group.
Ben Horowitz, NJ.com Read more

Christie charges Rubio holds ‘drive-by town halls’ in N.H.
Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday accused GOP rival Sen. Marco Rubio of being guilty of holding “drive-by town halls” in the presidential voting state that rewards retail politics.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Christie says he’ll gladly campaign for nemesis Rand Paul’s Senate bid
Gov. Chris Christie had nothing but nice things to say about Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s departure from the 2016 race on Wednesday, signaling a shift in tone from his other public comments about the federal lawmaker.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Begin reforming N.J.’s death taxes by repealing the inheritance tax
The state’s death-tax structure is double trouble for residents, comprising the estate tax and the lesser-known transfer inheritance tax.
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff and Charles Steindel, NJ Spotlight Read more

Six current and former Lyndhurst officials pay $18,620 in campaign finance penalties
Mayor Robert Giangeruso and several other township officials have paid a combined $18,620 in penalties as part of a consent agreement over alleged violations of the state’s election law during the 2009 municipal campaign.
Linda Moss, The Record Read more

N.J. Democrats say proposal to replenish transportation fund nearly finished
New Jersey’s Democratic legislative leaders said Wednesday they are close to working out a proposal to fix the state’s dwindling Transportation Trust Fund.
John C. Ensslin, The Record Read more

Guadagno calls NJ’s rising property taxes “shameful”
State officials confirmed that New Jersey property taxes rose by 2.4 percent in 2015, part of a continuing march higher that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno called “shameful.”
Michael Symons, Asbury Park Press Read more

Facebook shuts down medical marijuana pages in New Jersey
Three of New Jersey’s five medical marijuana dispensaries have had their business pages shutdown by Facebook, cutting off what advocates call an integral place for customers to learn about which plant strains best treat their illness and where to find discounts.
Associated Press Read more

Atlantic County could settle Atlantic City’s casino debt, Sweeney says
State Senate President Steve Sweeney said Wednesday he wants Atlantic County to use its excellent bond rating to finance Atlantic City’s tax refunds to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with the city making the actual payments.
Michelle Brunetti Post, Press of Atlantic City Read more

Slight Hike in Tax Revenue Adds Up to Surplus For State
Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to present his next state budget to lawmakers in less than two weeks. And it looks like he’ll be able to deliver that address feeling some confidence about how his spending plan for the current fiscal year is holding up.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: Feb. 4th