OFFICER DOWN: Patrolman Stephen Carr Ambushed, Slain in Parking Lot
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Named a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital

BILL ALLOWING PROPERTY TAX HIKES CLEARS COMMITTEE

 

A bill that has drawn criticism from Gov. Phil Murphy passed the state Senate's budget committee on Thursday. Its next stop is the full state Senate. That body's President, Steve Sweeney, designed a controversial school funding reform bill that Murphy signed into law last year. Sweeney recently introduced this bill to allow districts to raise funds using taxpayer money — taxpayers who own homes, that is. Under this bill, school boards would be able to raise property taxes beyond the two percent cap. For many people, of course, property taxes are already a burden: the average bill is $8,767. (NJ.com)

THE "EMERGENCY AID" LIST FOR SCHOOLS IS HERE: $15M

On Friday afternoon, the state's Education Commissioner, Lamont Repollet, announced a distribution of $15 million in "emergency aid" to thirteen school districts. 29 districts requested $362 million in mid-year funding. Newark got $4 million; it asked for $36 million. Paterson got $5 million; it asked for $24.6 million. Toms River got $815,000; it asked for $4.4 million. Jersey City asked for $215 million, and it got nothing from the state this time around. (NJ Spotlight)

SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES PLASTIC BAGS BAN

The state Senate's budget committee cleared a bill on Thursday that would make our state the ninth in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. The measure would also ban paper bags and Styrofoam cups and containers. Plastic straws would be less readily available, only by request. The fines are potentially hefty (groan): up to $5,000 a pop. (The Inquirer / NJTV News)

SPECIAL INTERESTS HOLD A LOT OF SWAY — FOR NOW

There's a lot of lobbying that doesn't call itself lobbying, state Senate Pres. Steve Sweeney said in Trenton on Thursday. A new bill would try to change that. It's called "shadow lobbying" by activists, but these agenda-driven workers appear to be influencing policy in plain sight. It's just that these communications firms and so-called nonprofits don't identify themselves as lobbyists to the state — so they're not held accountable via public reports. (NorthJersey.com)

Comments