$15, but not for Farm Workers
Big Steve Sweeney wants a $15 minimum wage but not for farm workers, Ryan Hutchins and Katherine Landergan at Politico report, noting Sweeney’s “South Jersey district includes more farms than any other in the state.”
“I’m not putting the farming community out of business,” Sweeney reportedly told them.
Interesting to parse what “community” means in this context.
Elsewhere in Sweeney-land, that $300 million PSE&G subsidy bill is back up for a vote in a “key Senate committee” on Thursday, the valuable NJ Spotlight reports, noting the speed (surprising) with which the bill has been revived after dying in the lame-duck session.
The Spotlight, citing recent financial disclosures, says PSE&G is also set to gain another “$550 million to $650 million from the Trump administration tax plan enacted last month.”
Disasters I (Death Edition)
State Medical Examiner Andrew Falzon testified New Jersey’s system for investigating deaths is in “desperate need” of an overhaul, Stephen Stirling and S.P. Sullivan reported, and they would say that because they wrote the story a few weeks ago that prompted the hearing where Falzon made these latest remarks.
Stirling and Sullivan say, “The medical examiner system in New Jersey is a mixture of state-and county-run offices, and data shows how quickly and thoroughly deaths are investigated varies wildly depending on where the death occurred.”
This seems very important. If, for instance, you’re interested in dealing with the opioid epidemic, don’t you need to know how many people are dying and of what substances? Or you could spend $43 million on an
image-resuscitation public-outreach campaign.
Disasters II (Train Edition)
Phil Murphy named Kevin Corbett to be the new head of NJ Transit. He’s an executive at AECOM. Meanwhile Elise Young at Bloomberg reports that lots of NJ Transit trains are offline after being outfitted with positive train control software that’s supposed to prevent crashes. “They were expected to return to service after about a week of software tests, but none have.”
I Croon Too
The great Kevin Riordan at the Philly Inquirer profiles Frank Hartman, an 81-year-old roofer who moonlights as a lounge singer. He’s got gigs coming up (“Sinatra Love Songs” and “A Tribute to Sinatra”) in Pennsauken and Cherry Hill and has a weekly show at 10:00pm Thursdays on WVLT-FM (Cruisin’ 92.1) in Vineland.