NJ Politics Digest: Trying To Keep NJ Roads Zombie Free

It’s Wednesday, and in New Jersey lawmakers are working to ensure that dead people are taken off the rolls at the Motor Vehicles Commission.
The economic news in the state continues to be bad, with the number of people living in poverty is closing in on 1 million.

Efforts by Chris Christie and the legislature to allow the governor to profit from a book deal in exchange for approving a raise for legislative staff is ruffling feathers among those who have seen their efforts to raise the state minimum wage stall while Christie and legislative leaders negotiated this deal that benefits political insiders.

Quote of the Day: “I think it looks awful. To cut a deal so that the governor can write a book, I hate to think that we’re using legislative staff who deserve a raise as a pawn in this process.” – Sen. Joseph Vitale, on a measure that allow Gov. Chris Christie to earn money from a book deal while still governor.

‘Zombie’ driver law inches closer to life in N.J.
Lawmakers scored a small victory against zombie drivers after a bill advanced Monday that requires the state Motor Vehicle Commission to check databases to make sure licenses and registrations aren’t issued to dead people.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

Nearly 1 million N.J. residents now live in poverty, as rate soars in Atlantic City
The struggles of Atlantic City are well documented.
Casino closures. The threat of bankruptcy. The recent state takeover.
Stephen Stirling, NJ.com Read more

Christie says he doesn’t feel snubbed by Trump
While guest-hosting a call-in sports radio show Tuesday morning, Governor Christie largely avoided discussing politics until full-time host Craig Carton informed him, “I promised people I would grill you politically.”
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

Sen. Menendez attorneys file petition for U.S. Supreme Court to toss corruption indictment
Attorneys for Sen. Bob Menendez have filed a request to have his case considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping that the high court will throw out most of his corruption indictment.
Todd South, The Record Read more

Why Trump’s tax-cut promise has NJ worried about its own budget
Americans’ surprise choice for president could mean an unwelcome surprise for New Jersey’s budget.
Michael Symons, NJ101.5 Read more

Lead found in some small North Jersey water systems
The vast majority of North Jersey residents get their drinking water from large public or for-profit utilities that collect water in reservoirs, treat it, then send it on to customers. Those systems are largely free of lead levels above what the federal government considers a big enough health risk to take action.
James M. O’Neill, The Record Read more

N.J. trooper pulled over women to ask them out, covered it up, state says
A New Jersey state trooper is accused of conducting improper stops of women, asking them out on dates and tampering with records to cover it up, authorities said Tuesday.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

Advocates fume as minimum wage stalls while Christie book deal bill advances
New Jersey minimum wage advocates were already upset that a proposed constitutional amendment to increase the wage to $15 appears dead, despite the vows of Democratic leaders to put it on the ballot.
Matt Friedman Read more

Christie pens new chapter in deal making with Democrats
Bashing Democrats was a favorite sport of Governor Christie as he built his brand as a truth teller.
Charles Stile, The Record Read more

Democratic lawmaker wants Christie to resign before profiting from book deal
A New Jersey Democratic lawmaker Gov. Chris Christie recently blasted as a “lunatic” and a “crazy quack” is calling on the Republican governor to resign if he wants to write a memoir.
Matt Arco, NJ.com Read more

Christie: Voters rejecting North Jersey casinos ‘dumb move’
Gov. Christie said it was a “dumb move” when New Jersey voters rejected a referendum to expand casino gambling to northern New Jersey.
Associated Press Read more

Mosque lawyer claims town officials wrote ‘shocking’ anti-Muslim emails
Township officials involved in the decision to block construction of a proposed mosque routinely disparaged Muslims and Islam in emails from their personal accounts, according to a court filing in a lawsuit over a dispute.
Kathleen O’Brien and Dave Hutchinson, NJ.com Read more

Beyond Bridgegate
A look at New Jersey Corruption in 2016
NJ.com Read more

Former N.J. Gov. Christie Whitman blasts Trump’s choice to run EPA
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who headed the federal Environmental Protection Agency during President George W. Bush’s first term, is blasting Donald Trump’s choice to run the agency.
Inquirer Read more

Last call for Obamacare?
Caught in a tug-of-war between Obamacare’s looming deadline and its potential repeal, Wilhelmina Smith decided she had little choice.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

Both blacks and whites are leaving N.J.’s largest county, data shows
Bergen County has grown more diverse in the period since the recession, fostering growing Hispanic and Asian populations, but has also shed white and especially black residents.
Myles Ma, NJ.com Read more

After selling parking lot, Jersey City planned to rent spaces from new owner
City officials are scuttling a plan to rent parking spots for municipal court employees from a developer the city sold the municipal court parking lot to last year.
Terrence T. McDonald, The Jersey Journal Read more

American Dream Mall VS. Online Shopping
As the retail industry undergoes a massive transformation thanks to new technology and online shopping, is there any mall out there that can be considered “Internet-proof?” Maybe not, but that’s exactly what Triple Five, the developer of the American Dream megamall in the Meadowlands, is betting on.
NJSpotlight Read more

Princeton Battlefield preservation victory!
After more than 13 years of battling with the Institute for Advanced Study, the Civil War Preservation Trust was able to negotiate a deal that preserves the site of Washington’s successful counter-attack, which was the first victory for his army over British regulars.
Bill Spadea, NJ101.5 Read more

State OKs tax break for company to move to Paterson
Vitaquest International, a maker of nutritional supplements, has been approved for a 10-year, $29.4 million state tax break to move 110 jobs from West Caldwell to Paterson.
Kathleen Lynn, The Record Read more

College professor’s crude comment violated law, state rules
The state agreed with Ramapo College that an associate professor violated workplace discrimination laws when she made a crude comment.
Sara Jerde, NJ.com 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

Margate beach will become ‘junkyard’ after Army Corps dunes, engineer testifies
In what could be Margate’s last stand against a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to construct dunes on its beaches, a civil engineer described what the judge called a “big parade of horribles” that would turn the beach into a junkyard as a result of the project.
Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Read more

Former Montana candidate for governor gives N.J. college its largest-ever gift
A Stevens Institute of Technology graduate is doubling down on his support for the Hoboken university.
Kelly Heyboer, NJ.com Read more

Could Bayonne be next town to get a bike-share program?
– The City Council is slated to consider whether to request proposals for a bike-share program that would bring borrowable bikes to Bayonne’s parks and light rail stations.
Jonathan Lin, The Jersey Journal Read more

NJ Politics Digest: Trying To Keep NJ Roads Zombie Free