NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Sees Anti-Semitism Increase

The Assembly chamber in the New Jersey statehouse. Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The start of the week brought some sobering news about an increase in anti-semitic incidents in New Jersey, a rise mirrored throughout the country, according to this report.

Education was the focus of budget hearings in Trenton, and it appears there are many critics of Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed spending plan. S&P analysts and opponents from all sides of the political spectrum weighed in on the proposal.

Christie, meanwhile, might be getting the last laugh on his opponents in the administration of President Trump.

Those accused of gun crimes are being targeted under proposed provisions for the state’s new bail system, while proponents of expanding casino gambling outside of Atlantic City continue their quixotic quest, according to this report.

Quote of the Day: “The surge in reported incidents is a sobering reminder that New Jersey is not immune to anti-Jewish hate.” – Josh Cohen, regional director of Anti-Defamation League New Jersey.

ADL: Anti-Semitism spikes in NJ, country
Anti-semitic violence, vandalism and harassment are on the rise in New Jersey and across the country, according to a new Anti-Defamation League report.
Alex N. Gecan, Gannett Read more

Trump aides regret tossing Christie’s transition plan, report says
Several aides to President Donald Trump regret the decision to actually throw away Gov. Chris Christie’s transition plans, according to a report by the New York Times.
Brent Johnson, NJ.com Read more

AG wants automatic jail time for gun cases under N.J. bail reform
Citing “grave concern” among county prosecutors, New Jersey’s attorney general has asked the state’s court system to add gun possession and other crimes to the list of offenses for which suspects are automatically recommended to be locked up under the state’s new bail system.
S.P. Sullivan, NJ.com Read more

N.J. schools tackle immigration fears
In Hackensack, a school official tracked down the family of a child who had been absent for seven days. She learned that the family, recently arrived from Guatemala, had been too afraid to send the boy to school because they feared they would get caught in an immigration raid.
Hannan Adely, The Record Read more

Democrats and Republicans Pick Apart Christie’s School Funding Plan
At times, it seems like no one is satisfied with Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to keep funding mostly flat for New Jersey’s school districts in the coming fiscal year.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Christie budget would strain N.J. schools and local governments, rating agency says
Schools and local governments will feel the pinch in Gov. Chris Christie’s final budget, a rating agency said Monday of the $35.5 billion spending plan.
Samantha Marcus, NJ.com Read more

Senate Budget Chair Seeks To Revisit Hospital Exemptions
A leading Senate Democrat is crafting a plan to revise a century-old law that permits the vast majority of New Jersey hospitals to avoid paying property taxes, a situation that has already prompted dozens of lawsuits in municipalities seeking to change this status quo.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more

Can Guadagno’s ‘Circuit Breaker’ Reduce Property Taxes
Kim Guadagno, the state’s lieutenant governor and a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, has come up with a novel “circuit-breaker” approach to providing New Jersey residents with relief from the state’s ever-rising property tax bills. But her proposal has also met with skepticism and claims of irresponsibility, since she hasn’t identified a sure source of revenue to pay for it.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

NJ Native Leading Pro-Trump Group
Ringwood native Brian Walsh last week became the new president of America First Policies, a role that puts him in charge of the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit advocacy group set up by some of President Trump’s closest campaign advisers to promote his agenda from outside the White House.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Push to expand casino gaming continues, but even supporters concede prospects are dim
Despite an enormous defeat at the polls last year, supporters of expanding casino gambling outside of Atlantic City continue to press their case in private discussions with lawmakers, some of whom have introduced legislation that would allow slot-style gaming machines at horse racetracks.
Ryan Hutchins, Politico Read more

Amtrak at a Junction: Invest in Improvements, or Risk Worsening Problems
When Amtrak’s new chief executive took responsibility for two recent train derailments at Pennsylvania Station in New York, it was a low point for a railroad already confronting a series of urgent challenges.
Emma G. Fitzsimmons, New York Times Read more

Cop suspended for 9 years will get pension refund
A police officer who spent nine years on paid suspension after being accused of a sex crime may be getting a refund from the state pension system, according to public records.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

Crime down 5 percent in NJ — but rapes and homicides are up
Crime in New Jersey dropped by approximately 5 percent last year, according to preliminary data compiled by the State Police.
Michael Symons, NJ101.5 Read more

Court sides with Trentonian newspaper again, dismisses state’s ‘prior restraint’ appeal
A state court has once again sided with a newspaper that the state had sought to stop from publishing information from a document one of its reporters obtained.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Trump son-in-law, family tied to swathes of land in Central Jersey
If President Donald Trump decides to start spending more time at Trump National Golf Club here, he will be visiting a region where his son-in-law’s family holds vast amounts of real estate.
Nick Muscavage, Gannett Read more

Federal, state agencies testing readiness for nuclear attack
MetLife Stadium will the base of operations Tuesday for New Jersey Emergency Medical Services Task Force as a number federal and state agencies this week explore their preparedness for a terrorist nuclear attack.
Kaitlyn Kanzler, The Record Read more

A farmer, a math professor, others predict problems with Virtua’s new hospital project
Weeks after Virtua Health’s plan to build a $1 billion hospital complex in Westampton, Burlington County, was warmly welcomed by the public, concerns raised by a vegetable farmer, a math professor, and others are surfacing.
Jan Hefler, Inquirer Read more

Paterson school board ends law firm’s contract
The city school district has ended its contract with a Morris County law firm that it paid more than $640,000 over the past five years.
Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press Read more

Asbury Park police chief retires with $127,000 payout
Acting Police Chief Anthony Salerno will retire Sunday with a bonus on top of his pension: a $127,000 buyback of his unused leave time.
Austin Bogues, Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: Don’t bail on bail reforms
Bail reform in New Jersey is barely a few months old, yet critics continue to fire away at perceived deficiencies. Among the latest to complain is Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who says a loophole in the measure is putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.
Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Sees Anti-Semitism Increase