Newark Parents’ LIFO Challenge Back in Court on Appeal

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Meatloaf again: Christie meekly accepts Trump's Medicaid cuts | Editorial

For all his professed concern over President Trump's $800 billion savaging of Medicaid, which would cripple drug treatment programs and especially hurt New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie admits he hasn't actually brought this up with, you know, Trump.
 
"The President's a little busy right now," Christie said yesterday. "The last time I saw him he was over at the Western Wall. So I haven't expressed that yet to the President."
 
Of course, that's a dodge, because these cuts have been in the works for months. And when a reporter pointed out that the President is still Tweeting, and has a phone, Christie said: "I'm trying to encourage him not to Tweet."

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How Democratic, Republican Candidates Say They'd Ease NJ’s Fiscal Crisis

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Trump's budget slams N.J. more than most states on Medicaid

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget embraces the House Republicans' already-approved reductions to Medicaid, a cut that hurts New Jersey more than any other state.

Trump's $4.1 trillion spending plan for the 12 months beginning Oct. 1, to be released Tuesday, broke a campaign promise and included $839 billion in reductions that House Republicans made to the federal-state program for the poor, those with disabilities, and the elderly.

The Senate has yet to act on the House GOP's health care measure, which the Congressional Budget Office said would leave 24 million more Americans without insurance than under the Affordable Care Act it would repeal and replace.

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Democrats in New Jersey Governor’s Race Court Progressive Vote

NEWARK — With the heart of his campaign platform coming under repeated attack from Democratic opponents, Philip D. Murphy tried to claim a potent ally.

Bernie Sanders does like the idea!” he said emphatically, recalling Mr. Sanders’s similar support for a public bank in Vermont, the state he represents in the Senate.

It seemed an odd name to drop since Mr. Murphy, a Democrat running for New Jersey governor, has locked up every county endorsement in the state, earning him at least the facade of representing the party’s establishment.

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Booker: It's un-American for full-time workers to live in poverty

NEWARK -- Flanked by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and leading state Democrats, airport workers on Friday continued their fight for higher pay demanding the right to a living wage. 

"I can't survive on poverty wages," said Daquan Allen, a cabin cleaner at Newark International Airport, who makes $10.20 an hour. 

"It's difficult to afford the basics, like food, rent," added Zakiyy Medina, a security guard at the airport.

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NJ Gov Race: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes at GOP Debate

By Alyana Alfaro • 05/18/17

Observer

Kim Guadagno and Jack Ciattarelli.

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NEWARK — The dreaded tax man loomed over the final Republican primary debate between Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Thursday night, with both candidates vowing dramatic restructurings of the state’s finances while distancing themselves from Gov. Chris Christie.

In the home stretch before the June 6 gubernatorial primaries, Ciattarelli and Guadagno have been trading increasingly tougher attacks over their records and platforms. And the debate hosted by NJTV and NJ Spotlight was a fiery, wonky continuation in which Ciattarelli threw around words like “lies” and “hypocrisy” while Guadagno scolded and jabbed the assemblyman.

At the heart of the debate was a long colloquy about the best way to lower the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes, consistently the top issue for New Jersey voters. And even after moderator Michael Aron changed the subject, the Republicans kept coming back to taxes on question after question.

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Opinion: Three Very Different Flavors for NJ School Funding

By John Geppert • 05/18/17

Observer

School funding has been a key political issue for decades in New Jersey.

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New Jersey’s formula for allocating school funding is in the midst of an intense debate reflecting three very different philosophies. Gov. Chris Christie recently called it “more confusing than the formula for old Coke.” Nonetheless, there is little consensus on the path forward.

In 1981, the Education Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of 20 public school students in Camden, East Orange, Irvington and Jersey City. The suit in Abbott v. Burke alleged that the state’s method of funding public education was unconstitutional because it did not satisfy the educational needs of children in poor urban school districts. The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the Public School Education Act of 1975 was unconstitutional as applied to 28 New Jersey school districts, which has since been increased to 31. The court further held that the state must develop a funding formula that would provide all children with equal educational opportunities.

After several court-mandated funding formulas and failed statutory schemes, the Legislature enacted the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA). In general, the statute uses a weighted funding formula to determine the per-pupil amount needed to support the core curriculum program for students. However, the state has consistently underfunded the formula, and lawsuits involving how to properly fund these disadvantaged districts are still ongoing. At the same time, economically disadvantaged students continue to struggle.

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Christie administration says N.J. has $527M budget hole that must be plugged soon

TRENTON -- The state will hold off making $308 million in Homestead property tax rebate reimbursements to municipalities for two months to reckon with a $527 million hole in the state budget, Treasurer Fred Scudder said Tuesday. 

The delay will be felt by municipalities, but not homeowners who've already received the credit against their property tax bills, Scudder told lawmakers. He said he doesn't expect it will affect their cash flows.

"While this is a step that we would prefer not to take, we view this two-month delay as a vastly superior option than reducing the pension payment or reducing other programmatic spending in the last two months of the year," Scudder said in announcing his office's plans to make up for the $527 million shortfall in tax collections.

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GOP Rep. Frelinghuysen Targets Activist in Letter to Her Employer

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