PolitickerNJ News Digest: March 16th

StateHouse

It’s Wednesday in New Jersey, where Atlantic City continues to dominate state news while Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton scored big in Tuesday’s primary.

Quote of the Day: “My experience is that when privatization takes place the services are often not as good and in the end, the savings are not as great as they make it sound.” – Senator Linda Greenstein, on her concerns over the fate of the Atlantic City water authority/

Sweeney Calls on D.O.E. to Conduct Testing on NJ Schools’ Water
Following last week’s revelations of high lead contamination levels in Newark public schools’ drinking water, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) is joining Senators Ronald Rice (D-28) and Teresa Ruiz (D-29) in calling for immediate testing of all New Jersey schools’ drinking water.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Baraka to Christie: This is Newark, not Fort Lee
In his state of the city tonight, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka seized on the lead contamination crisis to drive his message of returning Newark’s state-run schools to local control, and had some pointed words for Gov. Chris Christie.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Greenstein on A.C. Takeover: Privatization Fears Motivated Abstention
One of four abstentions when the Atlantic City state takeover bill went to a final vote and passed Monday, Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14) said that fears of a privatization of the Atlantic City fire or police departments motivated her decision not to vote ‘Yes.’ Citing the bill’s provision allowing the state sweeping powers in altering collective bargaining agreements and its mandate that the city “monetize” its water authority, Greenstein said that her reservations about the potential for privatization efforts won out.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

South Jersey Sees Few Alternatives as A.C. Takeover, Casino Expansion Bills Pass
The Senate passed two bills Monday bills to have the state intervene in Atlantic City as it nears insolvency and expand casino gaming to North Jersey, where two new casino would be expected to open in the Meadowlands and Jersey City. With Moody’s predicting both that Atlantic City will face bankruptcy without the takeover bill’s accompanying payment in lieu of taxes deal and that the city will take an additional hit if it has to confront new in-state competition from new casinos, the bills could be working at cross-purposes.
JT Aregood, PolitickerNJ Read more

Teachers’ Union Leader Demands Resignation of Newark Super Cerf
Amid ongoing investigations into lead contamination of the school drinking water supply, a powerful teachers’ union leader in Newark is calling for the resignation of state-appointed Newark Public Schools Superintendent Chris Cerf.
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Venezia, Lopez Prepare to Square Off in Bloomfield Mayoral Primary
Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia announced his reelection campaign on Tuesday. Councilman Joseph Lopez also announced his candidacy for Bloomfield mayor. Now the two political foes face off in an effort to win the Democratic nomination in the June 7 primary.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Obama Signs Disaster Declaration for NJ Following January Blizzard
The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama declared that a major disaster exists in New Jersey following the January 22 to 24 blizzard that dumped over two feet of snow on parts of the state. According to a statement, Obama has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Matsikoudis Forms ‘Loyal Opposition’ Organization in JC
They call themselves “The Loyal Opposition” to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Former Jersey City Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis and local citizen activist April Kuzas founded the Jersey City Civic Committee, a 501(c)(4), to advocate for issues they care about in Jersey City, whether it is opposing the Mayor’s plan to consolidate Jersey City’s election for Mayor and City Council with the election for Governor and State Legislature, or his controversial cancellation of the City
Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Sweeney’s Flint. (Like it or NOT!)
NJ Senate President/gubernatorial wannabe Steve Sweeney’s controversial Atlantic City takeover bill sailed through the Senate yesterday, “even as supporters had reservations and as Mayor Don Guardian — the man who called the measure a ‘fascist dictatorship’ — looked on from the gallery.
Jay Lassiter, PolitickerNJ Read more

Hudson County Exec’s Chief of Staff to Retire
Bill Gaughan, chief of staff to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, has announced that he will be retiring effective April 1. Gaughan, 78, has been DeGise’s chief of staff since he entered office in 2002.
Alyana Alfaro, PolitickerNJ Read more

Christie: I was never going to slain trooper’s funeral
Gov. Chris Christie expressed bafflement at the negative reaction to his decision to campaign for Donald Trump on Monday instead of attending the funeral of a New Jersey state trooper, saying that he had never planned on going to the memorial in the first place.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Clinton sweeps Ohio, Florida; Trump, Kasich split; Rubio out
Hillary Clinton triumphed Tuesday in the Florida, Ohio and North Carolina presidential primaries, a commanding showing for the Democratic front-runner now eager to move on to the general election. But the contests brought little clarity to the Republican race, with Donald Trump winning big in Florida but falling in Ohio to the state’s governor, John Kasich.
Associated Press Read more

Christie attorney sends letter to Sweeney in N.J. Supreme Court fight
Gov. Chris Christie’s office has fired the latest shot in the governor’s recently renewed spat with state Senate President Stephen Sweeney over filling a six-year vacancy on New Jersey’s highest court.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Christie: Denying Trump Republican nomination at brokered convention may be ‘very dangerous’
Speaking just hours before the close of polls in Florida, Illinois and Ohio, Gov. Chris Christie warned that any effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination through a brokered convention would be “dangerous.”
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Pay your Trump expenses, Gov. Christie — N.J. shouldn’t have to
Now that it’s clear that Gov. Christie won’t do the popular thing and resign – which some members of his own party believe is the honorable option – he should do the next best thing and stop charging taxpayers for his security detail, as long as he plans to spend eight months on the road polishing his audience warm-up act.
Star-Ledger Editorial Board Read more

Judge denies bid by ex-Bergen County Dem leader Ferriero to remain free while on appeal
A judge on Tuesday shot down former Bergen County Democratic Party leader Joseph A. Ferriero’s bid to remain free while he appeals his federal corruption conviction, setting the stage for his surrender on Thursday to begin serving a nearly three-year prison sentence.
Peter J. Sampson, The Record Read more

Ebola-quarantined nurse wants Christie lawsuit to continue
A nurse who sued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and state health officials after she was quarantined at a hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa is asking a judge not to throw out the lawsuit.
Associated Press Read more

PolitickerNJ News Digest: March 16th