NJ Politics Digest: Diving Deep Into Reaction to TTF Deal

It’s Tuesday, and with the end of the long weekend, it’s time to look at reactionor the lack of it – to the agreement to raise the state gas tax 23 cents. Also, The Record looks at the prime player in the Bridgegate trial, Atlantic City misses a loan deadline and workers in New Jersey are paying more for insurance coverage. For this and the rest of the state’s political news, read on.

Quote of the Day: “Until we get a handle on why New Jersey spends significantly more per mile than every other state, any new gas tax revenues we raise would be wasted. I don’t think that’s fair to drivers.” — Sen. Mike Doherty, on the plan to raise the gas tax by 23 cents.

Here’s who’s cheering and jeering N.J. road deal with 23-cent gas tax hike
A tax deal announced Friday to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund was cheered by many for potentially bringing an end to a months-long construction shutdown and reliable funding to the state’s transportation network.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Transportation deal clarifies financial picture, but leaves pension proposal uncertain
Senate President Stephen Sweeney declined on Monday to declare his intentions on a union-backed proposal to mandate quarterly payments into the state pension system, despite a breakthrough deal last week to raise the state’s gas tax and replenish its insolvent Transportation Trust Fund.
Ryan Hutchins, Politico Read more

Christie, Democrats Agree on TTF Plan
Republicans have long claimed that tax cuts generate economic growth, while Democrats argue it takes more government investment in key areas like infrastructure to achieve the same goal. New Jersey, with its Republican governor and Democratic legislature, is now about to test both strategies.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. residents split on gas tax
North Jersey residents seem to have mixed feelings on a deal recently announced by state lawmakers to raise New Jersey’s tax on gasoline to modernize the state’s network of roadways and railways.
Andrew Wyrich, The Record Read more

Why oppose the gas tax hike? Some say it cuts taxes too much
There are some politicians planning to vote against gas tax when it comes up for a vote this week — but not all have the same reasons.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

NJ employers stick health costs on workers
New Jersey employers shifted more of the cost of health insurance to their employees in 2016, helping them slow down the rise in insurance premiums, a survey released Monday by the state’s biggest business lobby group found.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

State doesn’t act as Atlantic City misses loan deadline
The city’s deadline to comply with terms of a $73 million state loan came and went Monday with no action from the state.
Christian Hetrick, Press of Atlantic City Read more

State approves pension for Paterson cop who was on nine-year paid suspension in sex case
The city police officer who spent nine years on paid suspension over allegations he had sex with a prisoner received state approval of his pension application last month.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Ambition drove star Bridgegate witness to reckless extremes
David Wildstein, the star prosecution witness in the Bridgegate trial, sometimes had an odd way of showing his determination.
Mike Kelly, The Record Read more

At the PA they asked, ‘Who’s afraid of Wildstein Wolfe?’
David Wildstein has been called many things; I never knew Winston Wolfe was one of them. According to Wildstein, who spent last week testifying in the trial of two alleged co-conspirators in the closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, Governor Christie gave him the nickname when they had a conversation at a 9/11 anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center in 2013.
The Record Read more

Train engineer doesn’t know what caused Hoboken crash, NTSB says
The engineer in Thursday’s fatal train crash in Hoboken told investigators he doesn’t remember the crash and believes he entered the train station going only 10 miles per hour, the vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.
Marisa Iati, NJ.com Read more

Investigators rule out track problems in NJ Transit Hoboken crash
Investigators have ruled out track problems as a possible cause of the NJ Transit crash last week into Hoboken Terminal. The Thursday commuter train crash killed a woman and injured more than 100 passengers.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Anti-north Jersey casino group backing new ad blitz
An interest group opposing a ballot measure asking voters to expand casino gaming to north Jersey isn’t taking any chances.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Jersey City nonprofit at center of new Bridgegate claim
The Urban League of Hudson County is at the center of new allegations arising out of the so-called Bridgegate trial, with a former top aide to Gov. Chris Christie accusing Mayor Steve Fulop of seeking a $1.5 million grant for the nonprofit to keep state Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham out of the 2013 mayor’s race.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

Student law debt focus for NJ lawmakers
College might not be getting any cheaper, but the Senate Higher Education Committee is pressing ahead with legislation to ease the burden on student borrowers and their families.
Brandon Scalea, Asbury Park Press Read more

PRINCETON: Trial scheduled to start this week on lawsuit challenging university’s property tax exemption
Princeton University is scheduled to go on trial this week in New Jersey tax court to defend its property tax exemption, in a closely watched lawsuit that a coalition of residents filed to make Nassau Hall pay more real estate taxes.
Philip Sean Curran, Packet Media Read more

Rate Counsel Faults Verizon’s Haphazard Plan For SJ
Verizon’s plans to upgrade phone service in South Jersey fall short of addressing the systematic problems in the area, according to a new filing by the state Division of Rate Counsel.
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

Paterson signs off on $5K settlement in former director’s overtime scandal case
City officials said they have agreed to pay $5,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Paterson’s former community development director Lanisha Makle over the suspension imposed against her involving the 2011 overtime scandal.
Joe Malinconico, The Record Read more

Mayor to remove ‘Christian’ statue from library after humanist group sues, report says
The mayor plans to remove a statue honoring veterans from in front of the public library while controversy over a Christian cross in the memorial plays out in court, a report says.
Marisa Iati, NJ.com Read more

Opinion: Lawmakers should reject gas tax deal
Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic leaders reached an agreement Friday which, if approved by lawmakers, will result in a 23-cent increase in the gasoline tax, from 14.5 cents to 37.5 cents, as soon as next month. New Jersey would go from having the second-lowest gas tax in the nation to the seventh highest.
Asbury Park Press Read more NJ Politics Digest: Diving Deep Into Reaction to TTF Deal