N.J. Politics Roundup: Democrats unveil pension, budget plan; Christie cabinet … – NJ.com



A collection of political news from the Statehouse and around New Jersey

TRENTON — Democratic state lawmakers introduced a $35.3 billion budget Monday that raises taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents and its corporations in an effort to cover the full pension payment promised in a law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in 2011.

They said they plan to spend $300 million in surprise tax collections from the current fiscal year to fund the payment.

But business leaders and Republican lawmakers blasted them for trying to raise taxes.


Three members of Christie’s cabinet are set to leave their positions.


Christie was in eighth place among likely Republican primary voters in a new poll of the 2016 presidential race.

Meanwhile, Christie’s 2016 political action committee has doubled the size of its staff in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire.

Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio  are coming to New Jersey for fundraising events.

A Christie nominee to the State Investment Council who served on his 2009 transition team is working with 2016 Republican rival Carly Fiorina.

And click through the gallery above to see Christie’s verbal jabs at possible presidential opponents.


Here is where Christie and other 2016 presidential candidates stand on the Confederate flag flying at the South Carolina statehouse.


Cami Anderson will step down as Newark’s superintendent of schools, and former state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf has been recommended to replace her.

Anderson defended her work in the district. But Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said it was “great news,” while city officials said Anderson’s departure was “long overdue” and that they were optimistic but cautious about Cerf.


Should New Jersey tax and legalize marijuana use by people 21 and older? Vote in the informal, unscientific poll below.


• Bracing for a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act that threatens millions of dollars in tax credits 172,000 New Jersey residents use to pay their premiums, state Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex) told her colleagues that New Jersey should set up a contingency plan by launching its own scaled-back version of a health insurance marketplace.

• Christie’s boast that he is the only governor in New Jersey history to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood may play in conservative states, but it alienates most New Jerseyans who want women to have access to family planning services, protesters said.

• A state Assembly panel approved approved a bill that would wrest control of paramedic services in Camden from a south Jersey hospital chain and give it to its competitor, Cooper Health, overseen by south Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross.

• As the family of a severely ill teenage girl in south Jersey sues for her right to consume medical marijuana oil at school, two state lawmakers introduced a bill that would require school boards to set policies that would allow it to be used in schools across the state.

• The U.S. House Ethics Committee announced that it was continuing to investigate a privately funded educational trip to Turkey and Azerbaijan taken by U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th Dist.) and other lawmakers that it previously approved.

• Red Mascara, who spent 55 years lobbying for his song to be recognized as New Jersey’s official song, died. 

• A state Senate panel approved a bill that would make New Jersey the fourth state in the nation to mandate that workers get paid sick leave.

• A state Assembly panel approved a bill that that supporters said would offer Hurricane Sandy victims “breathing room” while rebuilding their homes. 

• NJ Transit commuters could see benefits from a bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to pump $6.6 billion over four years into Amtrak’s aging infrastructure.

• Two key players in the post-Bridgegate reform era agree it’s a good idea to let day-to-day operations of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey be run by a single executive for both states.

• Port Authority Chairman John Degnan told state lawmakers that a toll hike was not even being considered, despite the need to raise billions of dollars for a new midtown Manhattan bus terminal and other pressing projects.

• U.S. Reps. Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.) both voted against so-called fast-track legislation allowing President Obama to negotiate lower trade barriers between the U.S. and other nations.

NJ Advance Media staff writers Matt Arco, Claude Brodesser-Akner, Adam Clark, Matt Friedman, Larry Higgs, Dan IversSusan K. Livio, Samantha Marcus, Jessica MazzolaErin O’Neill, Jonathan D. Salant, and Steve Strunsky contributed to this report.


Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.


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