Author: Bill.Mooney

Sweeney plans Sandy 'bill of rights' hearings around state

TRENTON – Having already introduced what he said would be a legislative priority this term, a so-called Sandy Bill of Rights, Senate President Steve Sweeney said today he would tour hard-hit areas, including Perth Amboy, Toms River and Moonachie.

"There are still too many people who have yet to fully recover from the devastation of Sandy," said Sweeney, who announced when the new legislative session began that he would sponsor a bill to push for better accountability and transparency for Sandy victims.

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Report: N.J. 3rd worst in long-term budget planning

TRENTON – New Jersey ranks third worst in the nation when it comes to long-term budget planning, according to a new think tank report.

The report released Tuesday by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says better budget planning would reduce uncertainty for business and make the state a more attractive destination for employers.

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State unveils plan for $1.4B in Sandy aid; critics insist it falls short

State unveils plan for $1.4B in Sandy aid; critics insist it falls short
Credit: Tim Larsen, Governor's Office File Photo

TRENTON – The Christie administration sought today to defend its plans for spending $1.46 billion in second-round Sandy recovery funds while housing and environmental advocates in New Jersey blasted the proposal as lacking transparency as well as protections against politically motivated funding.

The administration has submitted to Housing and Urban Development its plan for how it will spend the federal aid, a proposal that it says will help the hardest-hit communities and most financially struggling towns but which critics say still shortchanges tenants as well as low- and moderate-income households.

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SCI: No public release of subpoenaed documents today

SCI: No public release of subpoenaed documents today

TRENTON – The co-chairs of the joint legislative committee investigating last year’s lane closures at the George Washington Bridge said no subpoenaed documents will be released publicly today, the deadline for 20 subpoena recipients to respond.

In a joint statement, co-chairs Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Sen. Loretta Weinberg said that “The committee expects today to begin receiving material responsive to its subpoenas, with more responses expected in the near future in a cooperative effort with subpoena recipients."

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NJEA: Both sides have to honor obligations under pension/benefit changes

TRENTON – A spokesman for New Jersey’s largest teachers union said this afternoon that if there is one thing they take away from today’s ruling regarding pension and benefits, it’s that both sides have to play by the same rules.

An appeals court ruled today against N.J. Education Association, the State Policeman’s Benevolent Association, the state Firefighters Association, and numerous Locals in regards to their challenges of 2010 changes to pension and benefits laws.

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Sweeney's 'Sandy Bill of Rights' introduced

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney has introduced the so-called Sandy Bill of Rights legislation that he promised to sponsor when the new legislative session began this month.

Among other things, the bill would seek to offer better transparency, more responsiveness and consumer-friendly language for victims of the 2012 superstorm.

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Court rejects public workers' challenges to pension/benefit changes

TRENTON – A N.J. appellate court this morning turned back appeals by public employee unions regarding their challenges to changes made in pension and healthcare benefits systems.

The court upheld a dismissal of the public sector workers’ complaints, affirming that a lower court’s action was proper.

The appeal had been brought by several public workers’ unions: Teamsters Local 97, the state Firefighters Association, the State Policeman’s Benevolent Association, the N.J. Education Association, and numerous locals.

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Whelan: Caesars' reported interest in Revel raises concern about lack of competition

TRENTON – One of the state lawmakers representing Atlantic City is raising a red flag about Caesar’s reported plan to buy the troubled Revel casino.

Sen. Jim Whelan, who heads the State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee, said today that Caesars’ reported plan raises concerns about possible violations of the clause preventing undue concentration that could hinder competition.

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Released in committee: Early voting, internet gaming machine bills

TRENTON – The Senate State Government Committee released two bills today that were reintroduced this month after the previous legislative session expired.

One bill provides for early voting at special polling places, and the other allows internet gaming equipment to be stored in Atlantic City at a location other than a casino.

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2014 Economic Opportunity Act bill advances

TRENTON – The Senate Economic Growth Committee advanced a bill Thursday that would promote elements of economic development removed from the Economic Opportunity Act that was signed into law last year. It was approved unanimously.

Sen. Ray Lesniak’s EOA of 2014 would provide affordable housing incentives, including rehabilitation of special-needs or low-income housing.

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The Back Room

Corbett yanks Perry video endorsement

While Gov. Chris Christie rushed to Gov. Rick Perry's aid in the aftermath of his indictment, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's re-election campaign wants to distance itself from the embattled Texan.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 19th

Essex Royale: Jones pulls party faithful in for night of gaming, political mixing BELLEVILLE – Elbows on the felt table top, veteran Democratic Party political operative Phil Alagia looked across the void in a room crammed with party members getting a groove on as a bow-tied dealer dealt another...

Op-Ed

Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >

Contributors

(8-13-14) 'What if' Rob Andrews? - Rob Andrews’ retirement from public service has never been properly mourned as the great loss it was for the State of New Jersey. ... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“It’s not the first time, it’s not the last time, that a nominee with an issue is going to come up. But you can’t just say, therefore no one else goes forth. That nominee has nothing to do with these nominees, and the governor made a substitution for him anyway.” - state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28)

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