CHRISTIE SIGNS LAW GREENLIGHTING FAST TRACK SALE OF NJ PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS
A new bill signed into law Friday afternoon by Governor Christie would allow for fast-tracking the privatization of many public water systems in New Jersey. NJ.com says the Water Infrastructure Protection Act removes the public vote requirement when selling off NJ water systems under emergency conditions – which many systems already meet. Sponsors claim the bill is a way to inject desperately-needed investment into neglected water systems, while opponents warn that it's an attempt to turn private profits off of public infrastructure at the expense of the taxpayers.
HEALTH COVERAGE REACHING RECORD HIGHS IN NEW JERSEY
The number of uninsured New Jerseyans is expected to reach an historic low this year, now that the third annual sign-up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is over. The Record says gains in federal marketplace enrollment were modest, but Medicaid coverage for NJ's poorest residents saw the biggest increases. The program, known as NJFamilyCare, now covers 428,000 more people than it did before it was expanded three years ago.
BARNEGAT BAY NEEDS TO BE PUT ON 'POLLUTION DIET' TO LIMIT RUNOFF, BILL ARGUES
Lawmakers are still worried about the long-term health of Barnegat Bay. NJ Spotlight says they're once again calling on the state to take more aggressive action to curb the amount of pollutants flowing into the waterway. The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee is expected to consider legislation this afternoon that would direct the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study of the bay and develop a so-called pollution diet to limit runoff if it's found to be impaired.
BILL WOULD PUT RESTRICTIONS ON HOVERBOARDS IN NJ
New laws for hoverboard use in New Jersey could be coming down the pipe. WBGO says Assemblyman Benji Wimberly has introduced legislation that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to ride a hoverboard, and would make helmets a requirement. If the measure becomes law, violators could face fines of up to a hundred dollars.
WHAT'S NEW IN NJ MEDIA LAW?: On Friday, February 19 from 11-2 pm in Room 395 of Rutgers Law School in Newark, the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL), the New Jersey Press Association, the NJ Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Center for Cooperative Media will discuss "What's New in NJ Media Law?" The RIIPL will introduce its upcoming News Law Project, and attendees will also learn about emerging legal issues and policy changes on everything from drones to police body cameras and more. Click here to register.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: We've extended the deadline for submissions to our statewide undergraduate reporting contest, which boasts a grand price of $650. We will now be accepting submissions until April 1, 2016. The best submissions will be included and published as part of our Dirty Little Secrets project with the Center for Investigative Reporting.