State Could Expand In-State Scholarships, Benefit More NJ College Students

COLLEEN O'DEA | DECEMBER 6, 2019

NJ Spotlight

New Jersey is the largest net exporter of students to colleges in other states in the U.S.

---

Going to college in state would become more attractive, as in less expensive, to more New Jersey students under a proposed reinvigoration of a popular merit-based scholarship program that is moving through the Legislature.

Several of the bills considered at Thursday’s Assembly Higher Education Committee dealt with the high cost of college in New Jersey. The most significant measure approved (A-2769) seeks to repurpose, expand and sweeten the current New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) into the New Jersey HonorScholars program.

New Jersey is the largest net exporter of students to colleges in other states in the U.S., and on its inception in 2004, NJ STARS was seen as one way to entice talented high school graduates to attend college in state. However, its reach has declined since 2012 when the scholarships, which are funded by the state, were cut back to save money. So far, it is unclear how much more the new program might cost, and if Gov. Phil Murphy would be willing to pay for it.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

New Trump administration rule could take food stamps away from 12,000 N.J. residents

Posted Dec 04, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced new rules on Wednesday that could leave 12,000 New Jerseyans without the food stamps they now receive.

The new rules make it harder for states to waive the current restrictions on able-bodied adults without dependents, who can receive benefits only for three months in three years unless they have a job or are in school or a job training program for 20 hours a week.

Carole Johnson, New Jersey’s human services commissioner, said the rule takes away the flexibility that states now have to help residents in need beyond the three-month limit under what is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Booker ally, law firm will fork over $6M in settlement with bankrupt Newark water agency

Updated Dec 04, 2019

An ally of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and his old law firm have agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit alleging legal malpractice and widespread negligence perpetuated a multi-million kickback scheme that bankrupted the agency once in charge of treating Newark’s water.

It’s among the most significant developments in the bankruptcy case for the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, the independent agency that received taxpayer money to oversee water treatment and delivery to half a million North Jersey residents.

The lawsuit filed by trustees for the agency in federal bankruptcy court, claimed that officials with oversight powers shared financial responsibility for the scandal because their inattention enabled wasteful and illegal spending and failed to stop millions in no-bid contracts for work that was never performed. Booker, who was mayor until 2013 and has since launched a bid for the presidency, was originally named in the complaint but a federal judge dismissed the case against him.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

They Ended Up in Decrepit Housing in Newark. Is New York to Blame?

By 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Dec. 3, 2019

About 79,000 people currently live in a shelter or on the street in New York City, according to federal estimates.Credit...

---

Julie Rodriguez’s apartment in Newark was so cold that the water in her dog’s bowl froze. At times, Sha-kira Jones’s apartment did not have heat or electricity. In Loreal Bell’s apartment, raw sewage seeped into the basement.

All three women had moved out of the New York City shelter system into what they described as decrepit conditions in Newark through a rental assistance program.

This week, the City of Newark sued New York, demanding that it stop using its Special One-Time Assistance program, arguing that New York was pressuring vulnerable people, desperate for housing, to accept substandard housing conditions and move. The suit also says the program, which pays a full year’s rent upfront, incentivizes unscrupulous landlords.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

NJ’s Largest Health Insurance Company Wants to Change Its Structure, Sparking Concerns

LILO H. STAINTON | DECEMBER 4, 2019 

NJ Spotlight

Some observers fear the proposed change could result in higher prices and fewer plan options for Garden State consumers.

---

New Jersey’s largest health insurance company wants to reform its corporate structure in ways it says will enable it to modernize and improve care for its current policyholders, save on health care costs over time and provide economic and public health benefits to the state in general. But questions have quickly surfaced about the concept.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield insists that operating as a nonprofit mutual corporation would give it greater flexibility with investments and better access to data and new technologies, without diminishing its obligation to its 3.4 million members. Blue Shield plans in 18 other states have already made that transformation.

“Our members are and have always been Horizon’s top priority,” Horizon president and CEO Kevin Conlin said last week when the concept was first announced. “Our current structure was created decades ago at a time that could not have anticipated that the healthcare system would become what it is today, let alone what it may be five years from now.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Can Booker’s ‘Love’ Ad Woo Enough Voters to Win a Place in Next Democratic Debate?

COLLEEN O'DEA | DECEMBER 3, 2019 

NJ Spotlight

With less than 10 days to boost his polling numbers to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has released his first ads. He may also get a bounce from ads that a New Jersey super PAC began airing at about the same time.

Booker’s “Love” ad, his first “digital persuasion” offering, began running Sunday and is an effort to get the former Newark mayor on the debate stage in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, according to his campaign. In a post last week on Medium, Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie characterized the push as “a six-figure ad buy” on radio and digital platforms, although he declined to give specifics. He also wrote that the campaign hopes to raise enough money to run its first television ads in Iowa and South Carolina.

Booker needs a big bump in the polls if he is going to make the next Democratic debate. The Democratic National Committee has been ramping up the criteria for qualifying, and in order to be on the stage for the next debate, a candidate must have received at least 6% support in two polls in the four early nominating states or 4% in four polls released between Oct. 16 and Dec. 12. Booker, who has qualified for all the debates so far, has not polled at greater than 3% anywhere since Oct. 16 and he is averaging 1.8% support in all polls, according to Real Clear Politics.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

NYC sends homeless to live in illegal rentals in N.J. One town is trying to stop it.

Updated Dec 01, 2019

When Kamilah and Nicholas Sierra walked into a three-bedroom multi-family home in East Orange, they saw a space they could call their own — a large living room for their son to run around in, enough rooms for their older kids to visit and a chance to leave a New York City homeless shelter.

That dream would be cut short.

Paint started peeling off the walls and polyurethane flaked off the floors, they said. Thieves broke in through the back fence. There was a leak in the kitchen and mice in the closet. The couple’s baby fell through an opening in the porch railing.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

New Jersey Grapples With Far-Right Extremism After Arrests

By Ali Watkins and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 29, 2019

Gregory Mueller, the first assistant county prosecutor, outside the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton, N.J.Credit...

---

NEWTON, N.J. — New Jersey investigators were looking into a routine complaint from a woman who said her ex-boyfriend was harassing her, when they uncovered something far more dire: The 25-year-old man had stockpiled weapons and far-right propaganda and had talked about shooting up a hospital.

Two months later, New Jersey State Police responding to a crash in the same county discovered illegal assault weapons in the back seat of a car. Later, they found 17 more firearms, a grenade launcher and neo-Nazi paraphernalia in the driver’s home.

The arrests of the two men rocked law enforcement officials in Sussex County, raising fears that far-right extremism is growing in this sleepy, rural area in New Jersey.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Murphy doubles down on N.J. wind power as Al Gore hails his push toward clean energy

Posted Nov 19, 2019

Sharing a stage in Jersey City on Tuesday with one of the world’s most prominent climate activists, Gov. Phil Murphy took the next step in his plan to reach New Jersey’s clean energy future.

Flanked by former Vice President Al Gore and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, the governor announced the signing of a new executive order that sets a goal to have New Jersey produce 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035 — more than double the current goal of 3,500 megawatts by 2030.

“That’s more investment. That’s more jobs,” Murphy said. “That’s more clean energy.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Political boss denies he wanted protesters thrown out of Senate hearings in Trenton

Updated Nov 19, 2019

Just a day after a contentious Senate committee hearing in Trenton which saw Camden activist Sue Altman dragged out of the room, South Jersey powerbroker George E. Norcross denied any involvement in the decision to have protesters forcibly removed.

Norcross, who has come under intense scrutiny and investigations for receiving millions of dollars in state tax breaks, spoke at the Political Science and Law Salon Series at Montclair State University late Tuesday afternoon, an appearance that had been scheduled since August.

And his introduction did bring a round of chants from a few protesters in the crowd.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

← Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    194  195  Next →