With less than two months left in his term as governor, Chris Christie used his monthly radio call-in show to take swipes at former Govs. Tom Kean, a Republican, and Brendan Byrne, a Democrat, Dustin Racioppi reports for The Record. Christie said Kean and Byrne had not done enough to stave off the state's pension debt crisis. He also criticized Gov.-elect Phil Murphy for his positions on legalizing marijuana and tightening gun control laws. But Christie added that he was willing to work with Murphy to ensure a smooth transition.
INCOMING LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR EXPECTS TO HAVE MORE CLOUT
Lt. Gov.-elect Sheila Oliver expects to wield more political clout than her predecessor, she told David Cruz Tuesday in an interview for NJTV. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has chosen Oliver to also be commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Public Affairs. Oliver said: "DCA has a major responsibility for working with the 565 municipalities in this state. And, I think for the past eight years, not every municipality got the attention nor the support that they could’ve had."
AGENCY GIVES PRELIMINARY OK FOR $5.6 MILLION TO RAZE CASINO
A state redevelopment agency has given preliminary approval for a $5.6 million payment to billionaire Carl Icahn to help cover the cost of demolishing part of the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City, The Associated Press reports. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority still has to hold a public hearing before giving final approval to using money from a tax fund to which casinos make payments. The razing of the casino is expected to cost $13.2 million and is scheduled to start in the spring. Experts say the demolition would open several acres of oceanfront property for development, Nicholas Huba writes in The Press of Atlantic City.
MEETINGS SET ON PATH LINK OF NEWARK AIRPORT AND MANHATTAN
The Port Authority is holding two community meetings in Newark next week on its proposal to extend PATH train service to Newark Liberty International Airport, John Reitmeyer reports for NJ Spotlight. The $1.7 billion needed to complete the proposed extension was included in the 10-year, $32 billion capital plan approved by the Port Authority’s commissioners earlier this year. The plans call for construction to begin in 2020 and be completed by 2026.
BERGEN COUNTY RAISES MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 FOR ITS EMPLOYEES
Full-time employees of Bergen County will be paid at least $15 an hour, Daniel Hubbard reports for Patch.com. On Tuesday, County Executive Jim Tedesco signed an executive order on the minimum wage and said, "Good people are essential to good government, and good managers understand that their employees need to be valued." The county estimates that the wage increase will cost $360,647 in the first year, or less than 1 percent of the county's $52.8 million budget, Richard Cowen writes for The Record.