GUEST COMMENTARY:

NYC HEARING ON MONUMENTS WAS DISTURBING; MOVE TO REMOVE COLUMBUS MONUMENT?

Toms River Quality of Life Task Force Arrest Ten in Americana Motel Raid

25% OF NJ TRANSIT RAIL MANAGERS LEFT OVER 2 YEARS

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A quarter of NJ Transit’s rail managers left the agency in the two years before the deadly crash at Hoboken Terminal, Curtis Tate reports for The Record. The railroad reported the turnover to the Federal Railroad Administration in documents The Record obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request. Tate writes: “The list backs up public testimony from former agency officials who say a drain of institutional memory from the country's third-largest commuter agency may have contributed to operational and safety problems.”

MENENDEZ SEEKING CHANGES IN TRUMP TAX LEGISLATION


Calling President Donald Trump’s tax proposal a “hit job” on New Jersey, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez said Wednesday that he’s seeking changes to the Republican-backed legislation, David Levinsky says in the Burlington County Times. In a speech on the Senate floor, Menendez voiced his objection to the bill’s elimination of tax deductions for state income, sales and property taxes. “I cannot and will not support a tax bill that reads like one giant hit-job on New Jersey’s middle class,” Menendez said. New Jersey’s property taxes are among the highest in the nation.

MURPHY SAYS HE’LL LOOK FOR WAYS TO PRESERVE OBAMACARE
Gov.-elect Phil Murphy said Wednesday that he'll look for ways to preserve health insurance coverage for New Jerseyans if parts of the Affordable Care Act are repealed, Claude Brodesser-Akner reports for NJ.com. The governor-elect, a Democrat, said that he would consider emergency measures similar to the regulations Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued in New York but that his first priority is to pressure Congress to keep the mandate requiring individuals to maintain health insurance.

STATE JOINING INTERSTATE WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT
Beginning Friday, the state will have new tools for protecting wildlife from poachers and others who violate laws governing hunting, fishing and trapping. That’s when New Jersey’s membership in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact begins, Michelle Brunetti writes for the Press of Atlantic City. As a member of the compact, the state will be notified of violations in other states, allowing the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to consider license suspensions. New Jersey will also share information about violations with other states.

U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR SPORTS-BETTING CASE ON MONDAY
Gov. Chris Christie, who advocates the legalization of sports betting, will attend arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday when lawyers present arguments in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The governor says he is “cautiously optimistic” that New Jersey will prevail in its effort to bring sports betting to the state to help ailing racetracks and casinos, Matt Arco writes for NJ.com. The N.C.A.A., Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League support the federal ban on sports betting, which has exceptions only for Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

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