N.J. Newjerseynewsroom.com News for New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/n.j/ Fri, 06 Mar 2015 08:51:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Exxon Settlement Gets Murkier: Lesniak Points Finger at N.J. Acting Attorney General http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/exxon-settlement-gets-murkier-lesniak-points-finger-at-nj-acting-attorney-general RAYLESNIAK_opt_copy_copy_copy_copyBY RICHARD McGRATH

ELIZABETH - Senator Raymond Lesniak issued the following statement today in response to the assertions in a New York Times story that the Governor's chief counsel "took over" the settlement of the Exxon lawsuit:

"If former DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell's statement is accurate, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman must resign.

"How do you turn a $8.9 billion damage claim, with liability already admitted, 11 years of litigation and $100 million of expert fees into a $250 million settlement?

"Apparently, this administration took it out of the hands of the career attorneys handling toxic contamination cases for the Attorney General and the Department of Environmental Protection and had the Governor's Office engineer a depleted settlement.

"If former Commissioner Campbell's information is accurate, Acting Attorney General Hoffman has abdicated his responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the state by allowing the Governor's Office to interfere in the litigation, resulting in sweetheart deal for Exxon but a bad deal for New Jersey.

State Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:04:09 +0000
N.J. Parents and Activists Protest $83 Million Tax Break for Testing Giant Pearson Education http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-parents-and-activists-protest-83-million-tax-break-for-testing-giant-pearson-education PROTEST_opt.png_copyBY ROB DUFFEY

HOBOKEN – Dozens of activists staged a demonstration outside the new offices of Pearson Education in Hoboken to protest Governor Christie’s $83 million subsidy to the testing giant. The company received the tax break for moving over 600 of its employees from Upper Saddle River to new offices in Hoboken, even as the testing giant moved the other half of its Upper Saddle River employees to New York for additional tax credits.

State Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:05:41 +0000
NJ Business Groups File Complaint to Overturn Trenton Sick Leave Ordinance http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-business-groups-file-complaint-to-overturn-trenton-sick-leave-ordinance sick2_opt_copy_copyBY PETER PERETZMAN

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association, New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Restaurant Association, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and National Federation of Independent Businesses yesterday filed a complaint to overturn the Trenton ordinance providing for mandatory paid sick leave.  The ordinance was approved by Trenton voters in last November’s election.

The complaint was filed in State Superior Court, Mercer County and seeks a ruling that the ordinance is unenforceable and unconstitutional, as well as requesting an injunction preventing the ordinance from going into effect on March 4.

The complaint states that the City of Trenton is acting beyond its statutory powers in requiring employers based there to provide their employees with paid sick time.  Further, the complaint argues that the city cannot reach beyond its municipal boundaries to require employers located outside of Trenton to provide paid sick leave for employees who work at least 80 hours a year in the city as the ordinance allows.

State Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:07:40 +0000
Uneasy in N.J.: Federal DOT Report Predicting More Crude and Ethanol Derailments is a Call for Action http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/uneasy-in-nj-federal-dot-report-predicting-more-crude-and-ethanol-derailments-is-a-call-for-action HotTopics_opt-1_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY ERIC GUNDERSEN

TRENTON – Assembly Republicans Jack Ciattarelli and Holly Schepisi said a recent federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) report predicting 10 trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail each year over the next two decades should provide the impetus for the department to act on the upgraded safety standards it proposed last July.

“The sight of the horrific derailment in West Virginia in February and the 2013 fatal accident in Canada is irrefutable evidence of the potential loss of life and property,” said Ciattarelli, R- Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “We can’t stick our heads in the sand and think such catastrophes couldn’t happen in New Jersey. The gas tanker that exploded in Pennsauken last week is another example of the danger when flammable liquids are transported.

“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country,” explained Ciattarelli. “Shipping Bakken crude oil or ethanol on rails so close to homes is a major concern. We shouldn’t have to wait for another derailment to have the USDOT approve the latest safety improvements.”

State Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:17:38 +0000
N.J. Discrimination Cases: Div. on Civil Rights Obtained Millions for Alleged Victims http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-discrimination-cases-div-on-civil-rights-obtained-millions-for-alleged-victims attorneygenlogo_opt.png_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY LEE MOORE

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced today that the Division on Civil Rights obtained approximately $2.2 million in settlement payouts on behalf of alleged discrimination victims last year.

Cases amicably resolved in 2014 ran the gamut from a South Jersey school district accused of failing to effectively address the race-based bullying of a student to an employer accused of firing a pregnant worker after she took doctor-prescribed medical leave to accommodate her pregnancy.

Also settled were cases involving denial of equal employment opportunity for women, sexual harassment in the workplace, failure to accommodate a deaf or hard of hearing person, and failure by two separate businesses to accommodate legally-blind persons accompanied by trained guide dogs.

In addition to payments to the alleged victims and the State, settlements negotiated by the Division always included non-monetary terms such as required training in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), creation of new or updated anti-discrimination policies and procedures, and regular reporting requirements to ensure compliance with the law.

State Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:53:57 +0000
Lying on N.J Jury Duty? Juror Indicted on 3 Counts of Perjury http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/lying-on-nj-jury-duty-juror-indicted-on-3-counts-of-perjury jury_optBY KATHERINE CARTER

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that an Essex County grand jury has indicted Wacoa M. Stanford, 44, of Newark on three counts of perjury for lying during jury selection.

Stanford was a deliberating juror in the trial of State v. Travis Hartsfield, who was charged with murdering his 20-month old daughter, Asiyah Hartsfield.

Assistant Prosecutor Roger Imhof, who presented the case to the grand jury, said during jury selection Stanford knowingly concealed that she had a prior disorderly person conviction and that she had previously been investigated by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services for allegedly abusing her twins but the matter was eventually dropped.

Stanford brought up the issue of the DYFS investigation during deliberations and other jurors believed it was unduly influencing her ability to be fair in the Hartsfield case, a matter that a juror brought to the attention of the judge.

State Fri, 27 Feb 2015 01:46:28 +0000
Growth of Small Business Remains Top Priority of State http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/growth-of-small-business-remains-top-priority-of-state SMallBUS_optBY VIRGINIA PELLERIN

TRENTON – From a husband-and-wife-owned bed and breakfast in West Cape May to a fast growing manufacturer in Riverdale, hundreds of small businesses across the State took advantage of low-cost lending and recovery programs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) in 2014.

These companies, which benefited from a total of $92 million in financing, expect to create more than 1,170 new jobs. “The vitality of New Jersey’s small business community is intrinsically linked to the growth of the State’s economy,” said Tim Lizura, EDA President and COO. “Through our collaboration with banks and other local, state and federal partners, the EDA has been able to increase access to capital for small businesses that want to rebuild, maintain or expand their operations in the State.”

State Fri, 27 Feb 2015 01:18:23 +0000
Creating a New Kind of Liquor License Being Considered in N.J. http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/creating-a-new-kind-of-liquor-license-being-considered-in-nj JOHNburzichelli_opt_copyBY TOM HESTER

TRENTON – Assemblyman John Burzichelli on Wednesday said he’s introduced legislation to help spark economic development and job creation by creating a new type of restaurant liquor license, all while protecting the value of existing liquor licenses.

Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) noted that under current state law a municipality may not issue a new license unless and until the combined total number of licenses in the municipality is less than one for each 3,000 people.

“As a result of this restriction, there’s an insufficient number - or complete lack - of available licenses in many municipalities, inflating the value of existing licenses and forcing prospective restaurateurs to buy a license at an exorbitant price or simply operate without a license,” Burzichelli said. “This has created an unfair situation for many restaurant owners.”

Burzichelli said allowing restaurants to get a newly created license makes sense, as long as it’s coupled with relief for existing license owners, so his bill proposes tax credits to the holders of existing licenses to compensate them for any devaluation of their licenses.

State Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:50:17 +0000
Five Things We Want to Hear From Gov. Christie in His Annual Budget Message http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/five-things-we-want-to-hear-from-gov-christie-in-his-annual-budget-message christienov_opt.png_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY SUSAN M. BARBEY

Gov. Chris Christie will deliver his annual budget message Tuesday. We are anxious to hear how he plans to address the state's long-neglected financial mess. The signs of failure are all around us, five years after the end of the Great Recession. New Jersey's job growth rate is the second worst in the nation, just ahead of Alaska. New Jersey's middle class has lost billions in income through layoffs, salary cuts and wage freezes. The nation's labor market has recovered, but not in New Jersey.

The state's fiscal problems have been allowed to fester under the governor's inattentive watch. They have been relegated to the back of the bus while Christie has been out of state campaigning and amusing himself at football games, soccer matches and basketball games.

State Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:15:03 +0000
Atlantic City's Future Looks Dim to Most New Jerseyans http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/atlantic-citys-future-looks-dim-to-most-new-jerseyans ATLANTICCITY_opt_copyBY STEVE MANAS

Despite backlash from state and city officials, and credit rating agencies, 57 percent of New Jerseyans – a solid majority – agree with last month’s appointment of an emergency management team to assist in solving Atlantic City’s financial issues. Thirty-five percent think Atlantic City should be left to handle these issues on its own, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Seven percent remain unsure.

Support for the decision remains high, regardless if the decision was said to have been made by “Gov. Chris Christie,” the main target of criticism for doing so, or by the “New Jersey government,” the poll finds.

Even with the appointment of the emergency manager, respondents believe Atlantic City’s future remains bleak. Sixty-three percent say the resort town’s best days are behind it, while just 25 percent believe they are yet to come – virtually unchanged since an October 2014 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Moreover, just 38 percent of New Jerseyans report having visited the resort town in the past 12 months, down slightly from the 43 percent who had done so in the October poll.

State Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:35:15 +0000