NJ Politics Digest: Senators Ask If There Are Terrorists Riding the Rails

It’s Tuesday, and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is joining in calls to check transit workers to ensure they are not on the terrorism watch list.
The state legislature, meanwhile, is working to tighten marriage restrictions in the state, to ban people under the age of 18 from getting married. The move is an effort to stop forced arranged marriages, but critics say such a sensitive topic might need a more nuanced approach.
In other news, Gov. Chris Christie attended services for a fallen state trooper, Democrats think they might be able to override a gubernatorial veto and state airports likely will not be the home of the next generation of fighter jets.

Quote of the Day: “We are eight years overdue for a sober analysis of the security measures we are taking on rail,” – Sen. Cory Booker, on the need to check rail and bus workers for terrorism links.

Booker, Schumer want rail, bus workers checked against terror watch lists
New Jersey and New York’s U.S. Senators want federal security agencies to conduct background checks on bus and rail transit workers, who are responsible for the safety of thousands of commuters.
NJ.com Read more

Commuter rail tunnels will take longer to fix than originally estimated, officials say
Fixing the 106-year old rail tunnels used by tens of thousands of commuters will take longer than originally estimated, Amtrak officials said Monday.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

N.J. could be first to outlaw marriage under 18
In the past couple decades, several thousand people have taken advantage of New Jersey’s marriage laws to tie the knot before they turned 18. Those under 18 have needed permission from their parents to do so, while anyone 15 or younger has required the prior approval of a Superior Court judge.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

NY, NJ cooperation urged at tunnel project conference
New York and New Jersey senators emphasized cooperation on Monday to move forward with the Gateway Project, a multi-billion-dollar improvement of rail transportation between Newark and Manhattan, at a breakfast conference in Manhattan.
John E Seasly, The Record Read more

Trump’s pick for Commerce secretary once bailed him out in Atlantic City
Wilbur Ross became rich investing in faltering businesses like steel mills and coal mines, finding a fortune in blue-collar industries that others dismissed as beyond saving.
Chris Megerian, The Los Angeles Times Read more

Booker, Menendez call for congressional probe into Russian influence in U.S. election
U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez are among the federal lawmakers seeking a congressional investigation as to whether Russia influenced the presidential election.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Source: Christie wanted attorney general, declined other Trump posts
Gov. Chris Christie and President-elect Donald Trump discussed several positions he could fill in the administration but mutually agreed he would not be considered for anything but attorney general, a post that ultimately went to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a source told The Record on Monday.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

‘Wagging the Cone’ and other suggested titles for Chris Christie’s new book
Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t think it’s fair the state won’t allow him to profit from the books he authors, so he’s trying to get the laws tweaked in his favor.
NJ.com Read more

A ‘powerful, but somber scene’ as fallen Trooper Williams is laid to rest
State Police officer Frankie Williams is being laid to rest Monday with a funeral at Boardwalk Hall. A viewing will be followed by a funeral at noon and a private burial.
Dan Alexander, NJ101.5 Read more

Chris Christie attending state police trooper funeral
Gov. Chris Christie will attend the funeral of New Jersey State Trooper Frankie Williams in Atlantic City today — a departure from recent practice, when he missed three police funerals during his fling with national politics.
Bob Jordan, Asbury Park Press Read more

Democrats launch Christie override effort on equal pay bill
With Gov. Chris Christie at nearly record low popularity, Democrats are going to try once more to override one of his vetoes.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

N.J. temp agencies would face more scrutiny under bill inspired by ‘Invisible workforce’ series
New Jersey’s growing temporary employment industry would face tougher regulations and workers would get more job protection under legislation introduced in the state Assembly.
Kelly Heyboer, NJ.com Read more

Democrats say Christie’s unpopularity may help them override his veto of equal pay bill
Gov. Chris Christie has repeatedly vetoed legislation aimed at ensuring equal pay for women, but Democratic lawmakers on Monday said the governor’s low poll numbers could prompt Republicans to help override him for the first time next week.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

As Other Districts Grapple With Segregation, This One Makes Integration Work
When the morning rush begins at Alexander Hamilton Elementary School here, students lugging oversize backpacks and fluorescent-colored lunchboxes emerge from the school buses that roll in, one after another, for 15 minutes. By the time it ends, children from some of this area’s most privileged enclaves, and from some of its poorest, file through the front doors to begin their day together.
Kyle Spencer, New York Times Read more

Is There A Future For Stalled American Dream Mall?
“It makes me angry every time I drive by it,” said Matt Reagan, expressing a sentiment likely shared by many New Jerseyans about the multicolored behemoth of a building in the Meadowlands now known as American Dream.
John Reitmeyer, Ilya Marritz and Susan Berfield, NJSpotlight Read more

NJ seizes $69K in unclaimed Atlantic City casino jackpots
New Jersey gambling regulators have seized more than $69,000 in unclaimed jackpots won by gamblers at three casinos who couldn’t prove they were old enough to gamble legally, or who left the premises without cashing in.
Associated Press Read more

Pipeline Proposals Kicked Back To Pinelands Commission
The Pinelands Commission is not yet done judging the merits of two natural-gas pipelines proposed to run through parts of the 1-million-acre preserve it oversees.
Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight Read more

177th Fighter Wing left off list of possible homes for new F-35 fighter jets
The New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing based at Atlantic City International Airport was left off the list of units the Air Force is considering to house the new F-35 fighter jets.
Nicholas Huba, Press of Atlantic City Read more

I was EPA administrator. Advice for the next one: Don’t walk back environmental progress.
President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to head the Environmental Protection Agency has drawn criticism because of Pruitt’s public stances against the agency’s authority and his numerous lawsuits to block agency regulations in his state.
Christine Todd Whitman, Washington Post Read more

Jim McGreevey to speak in Asbury Park
Jim McGreevey will be in the Asbury Park spotlight next year.
Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press Read more

Robbinsville students’ texting-while-driving bill moves forward
A bill that would place a “U Text, U-Drive, U-Pay” reminder on the inspection sticker located on vehicle windshields was advanced by a state Assembly committee on Monday.
Greg Wright, NJ.com Read more

Will we soon see self-driving cars in N.J.?
An Assembly panel is scheduled to consider a bill Monday that for the first time would allow self-driving cars on New Jersey’s roadways.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

Pennacchio, pro-choice advocates clash on unborn child protection bill
State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio joined fellow lawmakers, physicians and New Jersey Right to Life representatives during a Statehouse press conference to urge passage of a bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.
William Westhoven, Daily Record Read more

Morris election updates: Mail-ins break tie, recount final
A few close Morris County races have officially ended, after mail-in ballots broke up a tie in one Boonton Ward and a recount confirmed the results of a close council race in Wharton.
Michael Izzo, Daily Record Read more

Rehab clinic, unwelcome at one site in Cherry Hill, will locate to another
A 90-bed addictions rehabilitation clinic will not be built on the Masonic Lodge property on Haddonfield-Berlin Road, following a tentative agreement reached between Cherry Hill Township and Advanced Recovery Systems announced Monday afternoon.
Luis Ferre Sadurni, Inquirer Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Senators Ask If There Are Terrorists Riding the Rails