NJ Politics Digest: Christie Allies Got Jobs, Promotions at NJ Transit

NJ Transit train. File photo

Allies of Gov. Chris Christie got jobs or promotions at New Jersey Transit as the beleaguered agency struggled to fund its operations and lost staff needed to keep riders safe, according to The Bergen Record.

The report detailed 10 employees connected to the Christie administration who saw their salaries rise, with some bumps as high as $70,000. All but one of the workers earned more than $100,000 at NJ Transit, according to the newspaper. The agency denies that Christie administration workers were given special treatment.

A bill that would give Camden Mayor Dana Redd and a few other elected officials bigger pensions passed the state Senate and cleared an Assembly committee with no debate. There is still no complete list of the politicians who would see their pensions padded.

And an Assembly panel advanced a bill that could abolish the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, a bi-state agency that aims to regulate employment practices and combat criminal activity in the waterways between New Jersey and New York City.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t want you to forget the 100,000-vote plurality in Essex County. So, any time you need to make a decision, and it’s a difficult decision, just think of that.” — Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo to Governor-elect Phil Murphy.

Senate Passes Fast-Tracked Bill to Boost Pensions for Politicians
A bill that would give outgoing Camden Mayor Dana Redd and a few other politicians bigger pensions continued to zoom through the state Legislature on Monday with no debate or details on the bill’s fiscal impact.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Sherrill Scores Endorsement From Four Democratic County Chairs
Congressional Candidate Mikie Sherrill on Monday received the endorsement of Democratic Party chairs from the four counties that make up New Jersey’s 11th congressional district: Morris, Essex, Sussex and Passaic.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Murphy to Nominate Tahesha Way for Secretary of State
Governor-elect Phil Murphy announced Monday that his nominee for secretary of state is Tahesha Way, a former state administrative law judge and a past director of the Passaic County freeholder board.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Assembly Panel Approves Plan to Dissolve NY/NJ Waterfront Commission
The New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee on Monday voted to release legislation that could abolish the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, a bi-state agency that aims to regulate employment practices and combat criminal activity in the waterways between New Jersey and New York City.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Observer NJ’s Year in Review 2017
We are closing the book on 2017, saying goodbye in a few weeks to our larger-than-life governor, Chris Christie, and saying hello to his richer-than-life successor, Phil Murphy.
Observer Staff Read more

Christie allies at NJ Transit got promotions, raises as agency struggled to fund its operations
NJ Transit hired or promoted 10 employees connected to Gov. Chris Christie’s administration as it hemorrhaged staff needed to operate safely and reliably, The Record and NorthJersey.com found after reviewing months of legislative testimony, court documents and state employee salary data.
The Record Read more

Teachers accused of sexual misconduct keep getting jobs in N.J. Here’s why
The little girls would hold his hand and sit on his lap.
They would kiss their first-grade teacher, and he would kiss them back.
NJ.com Read more

Leveraging Power of NJ Pension System Against Superfund Cheats
The investing power of New Jersey’s public-employee pension system has been flexed in the past to punish countries for misdeeds on the international stage, and now lawmakers are considering using the same approach with companies that shirk their legal responsibility to clean up contaminated federal Superfund sites.
NJSpotlight Read more

Senate votes to strip NJSPCA of responsibilities
The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — a 150-year-old organization that has been the subject of two scathing reports by a state investigative agency — is rapidly approaching its demise.
Politico Read more

State to borrow $228 million for new taxation and health department buildings
New Jersey plans to borrow $228 million and build offices to house the departments of taxation, agriculture and health departments, despite objections from downtown Trenton residents and businesses to the plan and concerns about state debt.
The Record Read more

Moran: Joe D’s sins, and why top Democrats look away
In a tent packed with more than 200 people, Joe DiVincenzo was bathed in the unconditional love of the entire senior leadership of the Democratic Party, as he kicked off his campaign for a fifth term as Essex County executive.
NJ.com Read more

Governor Extends Contraceptive Benefits to Six Months
Starting in April, many New Jersey women will be able to extend their one-time supply of prescription birth control to six months at no personal cost, thanks to a new law that essentially doubles the amount currently available.
NJSpotlight Read more

Will top N.J. Republican’s spending bill lead to a federal government shutdown?
Congress must pass a new spending bill by Friday to keep the federal government open, and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is championing legislation that has no chance of becoming law but could lead to a shutdown.
NJ.com Read more

Weinberg falls 6 votes short of overriding Christie’s oil-train bill veto
For months, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has attempted to corral enough votes to override Gov. Chris Christie’s July veto of an oil-train transparency bill.
The Record Read more NJ Politics Digest: Christie Allies Got Jobs, Promotions at NJ Transit