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Members of New Jersey’s state Assembly are moving to end the religious exemption for mandatory vaccinations. The measure has a way to go before passage, however. Read more.

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These are odd times. And there are odd presidents. So, let’s take a moment to look away from all the “national emergencies” in Washington and focus on a real, true oddity: the fact that pro-slavery President John Tyler — elected in 1841 — still has two, living grandsons. It’s a story always worth revisiting. Tyler was born in 1790, he became the nation’s 10th president, and then quickly abandoned the platform of his own political party, the Whigs. He lasted one term, was ill his whole life and finally kicked it in 1862. Yet, somehow, he was a little, um, aggressive in his old age. And so was one his sons, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. And, thus, welcome two grandsons born in the 1920s: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. and Harrison Ruffin Tyler. And, yup, they are still around.
NJ Spotlight Daily News

February 19, 2019

Sweeney Seizes the Mic, Holds His Own Town Halls, But Where’s Murphy?
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Senate president pitches his ideas for fixing New Jersey’s seemingly intractable budget problems to live audiences, sparking off angry responses from some listeners
Gauging How Family, Community Impact Children’s Mental Health
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Rutgers-Camden study pinpoints childhood trauma as likely source of anxiety, depression, suggests healthy family life, civic engagement can mitigate problems
Measure to Keep ‘Dirt Brokers’ Out of Recycling Industry Moves Up, Slowly
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Fears that organized crime could infiltrate recycling sector prompt progress on tough licensing law that would include some background checks
PARCC Compromise Averts a Crisis for High School Seniors and Juniors
Carly Sitrin | Education
But now New Jersey’s Department of Education must come up with graduation requirements for the class of 2021 and beyond
The List: NJ Schools are Most Often Named for These Figures in History
Colleen O'Dea | The List
Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt: Spot the connection in the naming convention for many of New Jersey’s public schools
‘Unsanitary and Unsafe Conditions’ for ICE Detainees at NJ Facility
WNYC News | Immigration
The Essex County Correctional Facility is the largest detention center for immigrants in the region
Op-Ed: Measuring Energy Efficiency the Right Way
Frank A. Felder and Pranay Kumar | Opinion
New Jersey has invested substantially in measures to improve energy efficiency. The state needs objective, independent, and timely evaluations of these initiatives
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February 15, 2019

Motorists Could Face New Tax on Parking In Six NJ Cities
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Assembly committee approves bill allowing local leaders to impose 3.5 percent levy on parking fees, raising revenue to boost safety around mass-transit stations
Lawmakers Want Inventory of Lead Service Lines in Public Water Systems
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Issue is a ‘very top priority’ for municipalities but they say they will need financial help to do the work
Safety Concerns Prompt Lawmakers to Mull Sales Ban on ‘Baby Walkers’
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
More than 230,000 children were treated for injuries over 24 years; industry notes safety record is improving
NJ Slams EPA’s ‘Disappointing’ Plan to Curb Toxic PFAS Chemicals
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Department of Environmental Protection attacks long-awaited plan, says it doesn’t address need for immediate measures to stop exposure
PSEG: We’re Not Bluffing About Shutting Down Nuke Plants
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
To bolster argument for subsidies paid by power customers, company says it would begin taking its three plants offline this fall if it doesn’t win its case
Interactive Map: Stats Show Lack of Diversity in Front of NJ Classrooms
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of a diverse teaching force, both for students of color and for all pupils
Immediate $20M Subsidy for NJ Horseracing Industry, Millions More Possible
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Bipartisan support as governor signs legislation to help preserve industry’s ‘competitive edge.’ Potential for another $80 million over the next four years
1,200 Children Have Been Shot and Killed Since Parkland, 13 from NJ
NJ Spotlight | Social
A news site has profiled the children who died by gunfire since the school shootings in Florida one year ago. Thirteen New Jersey children are on the list
Op-Ed: A Tax Credit Program that Works, Creates Jobs, and Is Well-Run
Staci Berger | Opinion
Elected officials are debating the future of NJ tax credits. They should look at the modest, but high-achieving, Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program — and consider expanding it

February 14, 2019

NJ Seeks Advisor For Potential Deals Involving State Assets
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Bridges, buildings, roads, parks all to be evaluated for their potential to help plug the hole in funding of New Jersey’s pension system
Zwicker Wants NJ to Enact Robust Internet Privacy Protections
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
Assemblyman says New Jersey shouldn’t wait for federal action, must take own measures to give consumers power over their personal data
‘Green’ Groups Ask Murphy for Moratorium on New Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Coalition reports that if the 12 natural-gas projects are built, they would undercut administration’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050
$1 Toll Hike Will Fund Major Capital Upgrades on Delaware Memorial Bridge
Carly Sitrin | Transportation
Governors of New Jersey, Delaware sign off on resolution to pay for safety, infrastructure improvements on one of the most heavily traveled links in Northeast
EPA to Unveil Long-Awaited ‘Action Plan’ on Curbing Toxic PFAS Chemicals
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Concern that agency won’t immediately set enforceable health standards
NJ Dioceses Release Names of 188 Clergy ‘Credibly Accused’ of Sexual Abuse
NJTV News Online | Social
Incidents date back to 1940, most abusers are dead, others have been removed from ministry
Weinberg Downplays Murphy Team’s ‘Overreach’ at Port Authority
NJTV News Online | Politics
Board chairman complained that governor’s team “wanted to be in control or ‘in charge’ of every senior hire at the Port”
Op-Ed: NJ Must Reduce Impact of Federal Cuts on Charity Care
Suzanne Ianni | Opinion
Substantial reductions in funding, scheduled to take effect this October, could be devastating for the state’s safety-net hospitals. We need to protect them

February 13, 2019

Will Trump Policy Change Put a Crimp in New Jersey’s Online Gambling Industry?
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Murphy administration, lawmakers vow to protect state’s lucrative online-wagering sector. Attorney General Grewal weighs in with forceful letter of protest to his federal counterparts
More Job Losses Last Year for New Jersey’s Solar Sector — Report Asserts
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With nearly 700 jobs shed, it’s a second straight year of decline in a sector that’s key to New Jersey’s renewable-energy future
State to Launch Local Needle Exchanges, Enhance Services at Current Sites
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
DOH says plans part of broad multiagency strategy to foster syringe-access programs, other offerings across New Jersey
Fewer NJ Kids Eating Breakfast at School Means More Hungry Children
Colleen O'Dea | Social
State ranks dead last in percentage of schools eligible for federal nutrition funds that actually participate in the program, according to new report
How Are Districts Using State Pre-school Funds?
NJTV News Online | Education
Officials in two very different districts are figuring out how best to make use of their money from Trenton
Op-Ed: Kean University’s China Fiasco Illustrates Need for State Oversight
Donna M. Chiera | Opinion
Plan to give management control of campus outpost in Wenzhou to the Chinese government has security and ethical risks
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