Health Care 1
Steve Sweeney told a conference of school principals and supervisors he wants to move New Jersey school teachers off the School Employees Health Benefits Plan to the State Health Benefits Plan and that doing so would save $300 million annually, the valuable Spotlight reports.
In related Spotlight news, the rate of union membership among wage/salary workers in New Jersey was 14.9% in 2018, down from 16.2% the year prior, and, nationally, the rate of union membership among public-sector workers was more than five times higher than the rate for the private sector.
Health Care 2
Seven people were charged in an insurance fraud scheme connected to an addiction treatment center that resulted in $14.6 million being seized from a bank account controlled by a man from Shamong. There sure is a lot of money in health care available for people who have sfa to do with health care. I’m updating my why-I’m–in-the-wrong-business PowerPoint. Again.
Separately, we are joining forces with Reveal to investigate work-based rehab centers. Do you have experience with a rehab that required you to work in exchange for treatment? We’re collecting your stories as part of this collaborative effort. You can tell your story here.
Fire in the Pines
Douglas Melgari has highly detailed coverage of the forest fire in the Pine Barrens, and it’s well that he should since he’s the editor of The Pine Barrens Tribune, which you should check out.
“This is the largest fire since the Warren Grove Forest Fire in 2007,” Melgari says a state DEP spokesperson says.
For more feats of journalism…
NJ URGED TO PUT MORE MONEY AND SPEED INTO 2020 CENSUS PREPARATIONS–A year from now, Americans will be asked to provide the government with basic information about themselves — such as name, age, race and residency — in order to get the most accurate count of the population in the 2020 U.S. Census. www.njspotlight.com
City will pay $700K to N.J. man who claims he was attacked by cops, police dogs–Atlantic City will pay $700,000 to a man who alleged that a group of police officers released a K-9 dog on him and beat him unconsciousness in November 2012. That brings to nearly $7 million the total amount the city has paid out over the past decade to victims of excessive force. This case was brought to trial, and jurors heard testimony for several days before the city agreed to a settlement. www.nj.com
Inside one of N.J.’s dead malls: This is what it looks like when the lights go out–The dark and cavernous former Burlington Center Mall had a faint musty smell on a weekday morning late last year. Months after Sears, the final store was shuttered, weeds led the way to the doors of the 1.5 million square-foot mall and shattered glass from vandals served as breadcrumbs to navigate the dark interior. www.nj.com
Risley, Guenther win GOP contest for 2nd District Assembly run–LINWOOD — Atlantic County Republicans selected two longtime local leaders to run for Assembly in the 2nd District against Democrat incumbents. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Board approves Margate school budget–MARGATE – The Board of School Estimate approved the Margate City school district’s $12,763,571 budget Thursday, March 28, along with city commissioners providing accolades about the quality of education offered to the children of Margate. www.downbeach.com