I'm the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5, covering the governor, Legislature and state politics, and had previously covered the Statehouse for Gannett newspapers for more than 15 years. I'm a lifelong New Jerseyan -- raised in Bergen, living in Hunterdon, Rutgers graduate. I'm co-author of the 2012 biography 'Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power.' I am not the Iron Chef with a similar name though sometimes get tweets meant for him, especially around Thanksgiving. Believe me, you don't want my cooking tips.
Bill seeks to ensure nursing home COVID-19 data remains online
Lawmakers advance a bill ensuring certain data about COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities aren't dropped from the state's website.
With lots of changes, anti-bullying bill advances in NJ
"Mallory's Law," the bill's now-unofficial name, would increase the potential fines levied on families that blow off required anti-bullying classes.
Legislature approves NJ’s plan for legalized marijuana
Rules for adult-use recreational marijuana, which voters green-lighted in a Nov. 3 referendum, now await Gov. Phil Murphy's signature.
Study could result in NJ’s first countywide school district
Salem County has hired a Morristown-based law firm to examine whether to merge its 14 school districts into one.
NJ utilities resist push to give you more time on overdue bills
A shutoff moratorium is in place through March. Some lawmakers want that extended to six months beyond the eventual end of the public health emergency.
NJ lawmakers: Make COVID-19 shutdowns county-by-county
In the spring, Gov. Phil Murphy declined to take a regional approach to imposing pandemic-driven shutdowns. A bill would require it and based it on local data.
Magic mushrooms added to NJ’s pot decriminalization plan
Hallucinogenic ‘magic mushrooms’ were added to marijuana decriminalization legislation by a Senate committee. The bill is listed for a final vote Monday.
NJ may limit need for colleges to refund tuition over COVID
In response to lawsuits seeking refunds fromcolleges, lawmakers take up bills limiting responsibility to do that – and maybe grant immunity from liability.
Jersey CEOs pledge to hire 30,000, boost small business spending
The hiring will come over 10 years. The boost in spending would amount to $250 million by 2025, focused on minority- and women-owned businesses.
No respite for drivers: Tolls rise Sunday, gas tax in three weeks
Transportation advocates worry a hike in NJ Transit fares could be next and say the state should divert toll-hike revenue rather than widen roads.
NJ community colleges face 31% cut in state operating aid
Between the revocation of aid in May and a few rounds of budget since, community colleges could face the loss of more than $51 million in state funding.
NJ school buildings to reopen in September, with major changes
It seems unrealistic for most schools to have all students in attendance and meet social distancing rules. Hybrid approach with some virtual learning likely.