NJ Political Digest: What’s Causing the State Unemployment Rate to Climb?

It’s Friday, and as the week ends, the Star-Ledger takes a look at why New Jersey’s federal legislators don’t have more pull . Meanwhile, there was good financial news for the state, even as the shutdown of state road work has boosted the New Jersey unemployment rate. For these stories, and more about state poltics, read on.

Quote of the Day: “When I left my polling place after the most recent primary I was given a sticker that said ‘I voted,’ not one that said ‘I participated in an internal political party process.'” – Gov. Chris Christie, explaining his veto of a bill that would allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the time of the November general election.

No Credit Downgrade For New Jersey, Though Agencies Say Problems Remain
New Jersey has survived its latest budget troubles without suffering any new credit-rating downgrades. That’s good news for a state that has watched its debt grade fall in recent years to the bottom of most state-by-state rankings.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. is a 98-pound weakling in Congress: How it got this terrible
Hailing from a state that has more people than most and enjoys a high profile across America, you’d think New Jersey’s congressional delegation is flexing its political muscle every day in the nation’s capital.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

5 times N.J. desperately needed more juice in Congress
How has a lack of power on Capitol Hill hurt New Jersey?
Without any congressional leaders and committee chairs, members of the state’s delegation could not stop those in charge from blocking bills that would have helped New Jersey, or from favoring other parts of the country at the Garden State’s expense.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

N.J. unemployment rate up as construction jobs lost during road work shutdown
New Jersey lost 3,200 construction jobs in July amid a statewide shutdown of road and rail work prompted by a transportation funding impasse between Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic lawmakers, according to the latest employment figures.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Lawmakers Consider Doubling Money For NJ Beach Protection
The state is looking at doubling the amount of money it sets aside for shore protection projects each year.
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. Olympians could get a break on paying state taxes on medal winnings
Apparently, winning an Olympic medal comes with a hefty dose of taxes. But one state lawmaker wants to help give New Jersey’s athletes a break on them.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Did Atlantic City just violate the terms of its state loan?
Atlantic City may already be on the verge of violating the terms of a $73 million state loan, only weeks after accepting them, the city council president said Thursday.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

Christie vetoes bill requiring automatic voter registration
Governor Christie on Thursday vetoed a pair of bills sponsors intended to expand and make it easier to register to vote, for years a Democratic mission that has been rejected by the Republican governor over and over again.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Attorneys want appeals court to take another look at Sen. Menendez’s corruption indictment
Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to take another look at his claims that the indictment charging him with corruption is an unconstitutional attack on the independence of Congress.
Salvador Rizzo, The Record Read more

Politicians of opposite parties come together to sell beer at Passaic County Fair
Sometimes, politicians on opposite sides can find common cause. Take the Passaic County Fair on Garret Mountain this weekend, where the family of Peter Murphy, the powerful Republican leader from Totowa, has joined forces with Terry Duffy, the Democratic freeholder from West Milford, to sell the beer and wine.
Richard Cowen, The Record Read more

Jersey City councilman signals shift on long-term tax breaks
City Council President Rolando Lavarro, a staunch ally of Mayor Steve Fulop, took a step toward breaking with Fulop’s tax-abatement policy at last night’s council meeting.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Most Mercer freeholders support pay raises for county government bigwigs
The top elected officials of Mercer County government are one step closer to getting another pay raise.
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Trentonian Read more

<strongMassive tax hike energizes opponents of politics as usual in Gloucester Township
I’d never been invited to a revolution until I printed out my ticket to Wednesday’s “Gloucester Township Tax Revolt” meeting.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

NJ Political Digest: What’s Causing the State Unemployment Rate to Climb?