Atlantic City Council will postpone a vote on issuing $55 million in new debt to pay for pension and healthcare contributions that were deferred in 2015, two councilmen said. The council had planned to vote on the second and final reading of the bond ordinance at the meeting later on Wednesday.
Phil Murphy maybe won’t end the state takeover of Atlantic City and may instead appoint a new law firm to rain-make in the impoverished town that nevertheless still sprays many tens of millions of dollars across the Garden State annually, NJ.com reports. The story cites “two sources familiar with the situation” on the potential of a new law firm.
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association issued a report on attracting and retaining Millennials in the Garden State, and the valuable NJ Spotlight reports that, after studying the subject over the past year, their recommendations ranged from improving college affordability to “just doing a better job of promoting the different well-paying career opportunities that exist here.” That sounds about right.
Phil Murphy said he wants a “new culture” at the Economic Development Authority and named Tim Sullivan to be the new chief executive. Sullivan is currently “deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development” and was a “top New York City economic-development official” under Mike Bloomberg, the valuable NJ Spotlight reports.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, who’s demonstrated a real flair for this kind of thing in a short time, announced that an employee of the Atlantic County Office of the Superintendent of Elections is under criminal investigation, though the prosecutor didn’t say which employee or what he/she/it’s under investigation for.
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.”
Christian (We Miss You) Hetrick reports that New Jersey’s “Big Six” state party and legislative committees spent $13.3 million on election campaigns last year, which maybe sounds like a lot until you consider that spending “from super PACs and other special interests” was $45.4 million. Just a decade ago, spending by “independent groups” was 1/142th of spending by the Big Six. Now outsiders outspend them 3-to-1. What could have changed in that time?
Claude Brodesser-Akner at NJ.com says legal recreational marijuana might not pass after a number of Dems in the state legislature said they were nos. But Nick Scutari, the bill’s sponsor, said, he still expected the bill to become law. “I think your math is wrong,” Scutari said.
Amazon announced the 20 finalists for its second headquarters (“HQ2”) and Atlantic City didn’t make the cut, but Philadelphia did and so did Newark.
Does anyone else think it’s a little gross–this spectacle of great American cities falling all over themselves to see who can give the biggest handouts to a multi-national corporation with a market cap of $622 billion?
Atlantic City Council has postponed a vote on a bond issuance that would have raised $55 million, $38 million of which would have been used to make health and pension contributions that state overseers deferred and that’s been accruing 10% interest per year.
Chris Christie leaves office officially today and they didn’t call him the historically unpopular lame-duck governor (HUL-DG) for nothing. The Republican Man Baby pocket-vetoed a bill that would have created tax incentives for businesses around the Atlantic City International Airport, John DeRosier at the Press of AC reports (h/t to Jim Kennedy).
Fix Our Infrastructure
The Federal Railroad Administration recommended a $12,000 fine for NJ Transit for failing to install “positive train control” a system that helps trains avoid collisions and derailments like the ones that kill and injure commuters. Twelve thousand dollars might not sound like a lot of money for a big state agency, but as the increasingly outstanding NorthJersey.com reports, “railroads often pay less than the proposed penalty.” Who knows how small the actual fine will be! Anyway. It’s some public pressure.
The valuable NJSpotlight reports that the Christie administration paid $33.89 million in consulting fees to Bank of America Merrill Lynch for work it did last year on the governor’s plan to shift assets from the state lottery system so they’d go into the public-pension system instead of into the general budget. Doesn’t seem too terribly complicated but what do I know. Anyway. That’s $33.89 million.
The governor gave his State of the State speech yesterday afternoon at 3:00pm, and at 4:00pm, County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced charges against James Kauffman over the 2012 murder of his wife, the radio host, April Kauffman.
The state sold $375.7 million in bonds to build those office buildings in Trenton no one seems to want, “brushing off critics who insisted that voters have the right to approve or reject such debt.” Silly critics! What’s a voter?
Wayne Parry at the Associated Press is reporting Glenn Straub has at last sold the Revel to Bruce Deifik, which should not surprise you if you’ve been reading this space. But Parry talked to Deifik who said the deal was “finalized” Thursday during the blizzard at a price of $200 million.