NJ Politics Digest: Could Christie Plan Kill ‘Government Babysitting’

It’s Tuesday in New Jersey, and schools are making the news in New Jersey, with the Star-Ledger speculating on the fate of state-funded pre-kindergarten under Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to reform school funding. Meanwhile, the city of Newark looks poised to regain control of its local schools, while a new report finds three New Jersey Colleges among the most welcoming to LBQT students. Which schools? To find out, and to get your fill of all the state’s political happenings, read on.

Quote of the Day: “Ultimately the swords have to come down … some of us don’t like to put our swords down. I just appreciate the fact that we are at this point. We have never been at this point in 20 years,” – Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, on the possibility of local officials regaining control of city schools.

Why public pre-K programs could die under Christie plan
Gov. Chris Christie once compared New Jersey’s state-funded pre-kindergarten program to government babysitting. Now, he’s proposing a divisive school funding proposal that threatens to destroy it.
Adam Clark, NJ.com Read more

After 21 years, local control poised to return to Newark schools next fall
Complete local control of the Newark schools should be fully restored by the 2017-18 school year, according to a report released Monday afternoon by the Newark Education Success Board — the 9-member panel co-created by Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Ras Baraka last year to help guide the transition back to local control.
Jessica Mazzola, NJ.com Read more

3 N.J. colleges rank among most ‘gay-friendly’ in the nation
Montclair State, Princeton and Rutgers universities are helping lead the nation in welcoming LGBTQ college students, according to a new national ranking.
Kelly Heyboer, NJ.com Read more

Newark schools chief calls potential aid cut under Christie formula ‘catastrophic’
The superintendent appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to run Newark’s state-controlled school district said a 60-percent cut in aid projected under a new funding formula proposed by the governor would be “catastrophic” for the district.
Steve Strunsky, NJ.com Read more

Jersey City backs down on bid to eliminate runoff elections
Jersey City’s runoff elections may be here to stay.
Earlier this year, Mayor Steve Fulop announced plans to hold a referendum in November to give voters the option of eliminating runoff elections, but Friday’s deadline to place that public question on the ballot passed without the administration taking action.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Palisades Park residents want Korean-language interpreters at town meetings
Language interpreters can be found in municipal court and in hospitals. And law enforcement officers in North Jersey have access to language interpreter services via telephone. A group of residents in Palisades Park wants Korean-language interpreters at town meetings, saying they have not been able to fully understand and participate at those sessions.
Monsy Alvarado, The Record Read more

Activist trying to hike tax assessor’s property tax
A state tax court judge has ruled that a citizen activist may pursue his attempt to increase the property tax assessment on the Sussex County home of the tax assessor for four towns, according to an account in the New Jersey Herald.
Ben Horowitz, NJ.com Read more

Atlantic City casino revenues rise by more than 20 percent
The Atlantic City casino industry boosted profits by more than 20 percent in the first half of 2016, according to figures released Monday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
John Brennan, The Record Read more

Garrett campaign gears up to face ‘significant challenge’
Republicans on U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett’s home turf of Sussex County are gearing up as the seven-term incumbent faces his toughest race since arriving on Capitol Hill.
Rob Jennings, New Jersey Herald Read more

In Paterson, residents are connected to the matrix
There is a horrifying scene in the movie “The Matrix” where the character Neo becomes conscious and sees that human beings have become the fuel that powers the machines that rule the world. Towers upon towers of cocoon-like pods rise around him. In each pod is a person feeding the machine.
John Doblin, The Record Read more

Freeholders split over $40M courthouse project
A $40 million addition onto the Ocean County Justice Complex is one of several proposals being considered by the Board of Freeholders as part of a more than $1 million review of the county’s future building needs.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Financial aid experiment for nontraditional courses taps N.J. university
In its latest experiment in higher education, Trenton-based Thomas Edison State University is testing a program that gives federal financial aid to students taking courses with nontraditional providers.
Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Read more

Book Excerpt: Chris Christie at the Beginning of Bridgegate
“I worked the cones actually, Matt,” he said. “Unbeknownst to everybody I was actually the guy out there. I was in overalls and a hat … You really are not serious with that question.”
I really was serious with that question.
Matt Katz, NJSpotlight Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Could Christie Plan Kill ‘Government Babysitting’