N.J. Political Digest August 16: Who’s Funding Those Casino Ads?

Courthouse Building

Courthouse Building New Jersey Politics

It’s Tuesday, and the Asbury Park Press is making an argument that New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has had it with Gov. Chris Christie as she prepares for the 2017 campaign for governor. Meanwhile, The Record has examined the results of test scores and college attendance numbers to conclude that the billions in extra state aid 31 poor school districts have received have had little impact in these areas. Meanwhile, New York interests are mobilizing to fight an expansion of casino gaming in New Jersey, long lines continue to plague state DMV offices and a politically connected law firm scored a pay day when the state stepped in to help Atlantic City. For all this and more New Jersey political news, read on.

Northern N.J. casino fight has N.Y. groups jumping in with big bucks
New York-based groups on either side of a fall referendum to decide whether to expand casino gambling to the northern part of the state are gearing up for a fight, according to a news report.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

5 signs Kim Guadagno is done with Chris Christie
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno says she’s weighing a run for governor but her boss, Gov. Chris Christie, has an ugly 26 percent approval rating.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Despite extra aid, N.J.’s poorest districts show scant gains in some tests
The 31 school districts that receive billions of dollars in extra court-ordered state education aid each year have not narrowed the gap with the rest of the state when it comes to test scores and college attendance, according to a Record analysis, but defenders of the system caution that those numbers don’t tell the full story about gains the schools have made and the daunting obstacles they face.
Hannen Adely and Dave Sheingold, The Record Read more

N.J. avoids credit rating downgrade despite pension, road funding woes
A Wall Street ratings agency on Monday left New Jersey’s credit rating unchanged though it’s “cautious” on the state’s ability to meet its revenue forecasts this year.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Another week, another computer outage at New Jersey’s troubled MVC
Computer problems shut down state motor vehicle agencies again on Monday, resulting in long lines snaking out into the summer heat.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Law firm with ties to Christie bills state $86,000 for Atlantic City loan work
The state will pay a politically-connected law firm at least $86,865 for its work on the Atlantic City state bridge loan agreement.
Christian Hetrick, The Press of Atlantic City Read more

Fulop’s 2012 job with Port Authority tenant draws scrutiny
A legal brief filed last week in the ongoing Bridgegate scandal is leading to increased scrutiny over a job Mayor Steve Fulop once had with a car company that works out of Port Newark.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Construction workers protesting stalemate on N.J. transportation funding
A few dozen construction workers protested outside the offices of state Sens. Bob Gordon and Loretta Weinberg on Monday, calling on both elected officials to help end the political stalemate that has stalled construction work on New Jersey’s roads and bridges for over a month.
Christopher Maag, The Record Read more

‘Rigged’ voting in N.J. isn’t Christie’s big worry
s his standing in public polls has declined in recent weeks, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that the election could be rigged against him, and on Saturday he asked volunteers to sign up on his website to stop it.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Christie: $143M flood mitigation project ‘will keep families safe’
Gov. Chris Christie returned to Bound Brook Monday to celebrate the completion of a $143 million flood mitigation project that officials say will be a financial boon and life saver for residents here.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

N.J. Supreme Court: Ex-Bergen County exec Donovan exceeded powers on utility action
Though the state’s high court ruled against her on two of three issues related to a 2014 lawsuit, former Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan called the outcome a victory for taxpayers.
Todd South, The Record Read more

New Jersey pension system re-thinks hedge funds
New Jersey’s generous but underfunded public pension system bought billions of dollars’ worth of hedge funds in the years after other states began having second thoughts about the risky, high-fee funds.
Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Read more

Paterson budget plan could bring 250 layoffs, traffic ticket blitz
More than 250 municipal employees would be laid off and the city’s non-essential workers would be forced to take 12 unpaid furlough days, under a worst-case scenario budget plan that Paterson officials sent to the state on Monday.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Support grows for ending funeral home food ban in N.J.
Those attending wakes in New Jersey may one day be able to express their condolences over coffee and cookies, soda and sandwiches.
Jay Levin, The Record Read more

N.J. town pays family $30K to settle suit over unwanted police check-ins
The borough has agreed to pay residents $30,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming the police department conducted numerous unwarranted “welfare checks” at their home.
Jessica Mazzola, NJ.com Read more

Hearings set on controversial NJ gas pipeline through Burlington County
A controversial and much-litigated natural gas pipeline project will likely face new challenges next week when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection hosts the first of two wetlands hearings related to the proposed “Southern Reliability Link” route.
David O’Reilly, Inquirer Read more

Menendez, Booker Try to Expand Access to Addiction Treatment
The growing awareness of New Jersey’s opiate crisis has prompted a bevy of government responses, from expanding access to overdose-reversing medicine, to employing recovering addicts to help others in crisis, to increasing reimbursement rates for physicians who treat those with substance use disorders.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight Read more

Opinion: Christie’s resolve on trust fund self-serving
There’s been no news from Trenton regarding the Transportation Trust Fund, and none seems likely for months. Senate President Steve Sweeney predicts the stalemate on replenishing the fund will continue through the November election, and that means hundreds of road and bridge projects will remain stalled, leaving countless workers idled.
Asbury Park Press Read more

N.J. Political Digest August 16: Who’s Funding Those Casino Ads?