NJ Politics Digest: Senate Won’t Block Christie’s Addiction Services Plan


Joe Vitale. File photo

Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to reorganize New Jersey’s mental health and addiction services will go forward after the state Senate cancelled a planned vote to block the move.

The Legislature has until Monday to reject Christie’s proposal, but Senate Democrats will miss the deadline because they couldn’t get enough lawmakers to show up for a voting session scheduled for Friday. The Assembly had already passed a measure last month blocking the plan to shift the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services from the Department of Human Services to the state Health Department. Senate Health Committee Chairman Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) said in a statement Thursday that the session was cancelled due to “unforeseen emergencies and scheduling issues.”

Phil Murphy, the Democratic nominee for governor, picked up an endorsement from Americans for Responsible Solutions, a political action committee that fights for tougher gun laws. And Steve Lonegan made it official: he’s challenging Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) in the 2018 midterm election.

Quote of the Day: “Imagine if Republicans were all behind Trump’s agenda right now — we’d be winning in Washington, D.C.”  – Lonegan, denying he was part of the “never Trump” movement even though he tried to block his nomination at the Republican National Convention.

Christie Signs Law Regulating, Taxing Fantasy Sports in NJ
New Jersey will tax and regulate the growing fantasy sports industry under a bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Lonegan Formally Announces Congressional Run in North Jersey
Arch-conservative Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota and perennial Republican candidate, has officially entered the race in the 5th congressional district.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Murphy Pitches Regional Effort to Increase Gun Control
Phil Murphy, the Democratic nominee for governor, said he would approach New Jersey’s neighboring states to create a coordinated effort to increase gun control if elected in November.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Murphy Maintains Wide Fundraising Lead Over Guadagno
The two major-party candidates for governor received another $808,000 in public matching funds, state officials announced Thursday, with the lion’s share going to Democrat Phil Murphy.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

AFT’s Randi Weingarten Coming to NJ for Murphy
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy and his team will meet with the leader of the largest teachers union in the United States next week.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Normal Penn Station Operations to Resume in September
The “Summer of Hell” is coming to an end. After eight weeks of service disruptions, normal operations for New Jersey commuters are set to resume at New York Penn Station on Sept. 5, Amtrak said on Thursday.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Menendez pleads with judge to recess corruption trial for major Senate votes
With numerous high-stakes votes approaching in Congress, lawyers for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) are pleading with a federal judge to recess the Democrat’s impending corruption trial on days he is needed in Washington.
Politico Read more

N.J. moves to legalize stun guns after 2nd Amendment suit
New Jersey officials are moving to regulate the sale of stun guns after a gun rights group won a lawsuit challenging a statewide ban on them.
NJ.com Read more

Atlantic County Dems have 35 days to appoint Whelan replacement
The Atlantic County Democratic Committee has 35 days to appoint a replacement for state Sen. Jim Whelan, who died Tuesday at his home here.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Memorial service for Jim Whelan scheduled for Sept. 14
A memorial service for state Sen. Jim Whelan is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Boardwalk Hall.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

Senate Democrats will miss deadline to block Christie’s mental health reorganization plan
Democrats who control the state Senate were unable to get enough members to show up for a rare summer voting session on Friday and will miss the deadline to block Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to reorganize New Jersey’s mental health and addiction services.
Politico Read more

De Niro, Weinstein have secret meeting with potential Christie successor
Robert De Niro and Harvey Weinstein had a top-secret meeting on Thursday, sources said, with Phil Murphy — the Democratic favorite to succeed NJ Gov. Chris Christie. The trio was said to be meeting in Tribeca at the Greenwich Street offices that house De Niro and Weinstein’s film companies. A spy said that the Hollywood pair “both were big supporters and fans of Christie for a while — but, obviously, now it’s over, and war time.”
Page Six Read more

Editorial: Override Christie’s oil train veto
The Democratic-controlled Legislature has so far been unable to muster the votes needed for an override of any of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes in his eight years in office. That could change, though, in coming days or weeks, as lawmakers weigh the merits of a safety and transparency bill regarding so-called “oil trains.”
The Record Read more

Toms River hires law firm to sue opioid manufacturers
The township intends to join a growing list of states and cities that have filed lawsuits against drug manufacturers, claiming they misrepresented the dangers of opioid painkillers, officials announced Thursday.
Asbury Park Press Read more NJ Politics Digest: Senate Won’t Block Christie’s Addiction Services Plan