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

The Politics of Monkey Business

The New York Times had an interesting thumbsucker over the weekend that presents the implosion of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart - a 1988 presidential contender - as a significant event in American politics.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 22nd

Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th WINNERS Chris Christie NBC News reported Thursday evening that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined after a nine-month investigation that there is 'no evidence" so far that the governor had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

Sports and politics do mix: Welcome the next NFL Commissioner, Condi Rice          There are many sports fans who insist on believing that old bromide that sports and politics do... more »
(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"In many ways, Fulop has embraced McGreevey’s granular-level approach to retail politics, racing around the state to raise money for congressional candidates in South Jersey one night, showing up at a Morris County Democratic Party function the next. His administration has also awarded legal work to Weiner Lesniak, the Parsippany-based firm run by state Sen. Ray Lesniak, the Union County Democratic Party power broker." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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