Teachers vs Sweeney, Taxes Seesaw, Rehab Prison – Wednesday’s Roundup

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Teachers vs Sweeney
The state’s largest teachers’ association is committed to ousting Steve Sweeney as state Senate president (they don’t see eye-to-eye over a few issues, including Sweeney’s plan to change the school funding formula). But the NJEA’s deep pockets are no help this time since no one is challenging Sweeney on the Democratic ticket. The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at the union’s options and the outlook for Sweeney. In case you missed it, you might also be interested in our story from last year about how much NJEA’s spent fighting Atlantic City’s school-voucher vote.

Spring is really here, everyone – image via @timberlinefarms

Taxes Seesaw
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian yesterday introduced the city’s budget with a five percent tax decrease – its first tax cut in a decade. The city’s plan involves trimming some spending on public safety and debt service, as well as privatizing some services such as trash collection. Christian Hetrick of the Press of Atlantic City has the details here. It’s good news for city residents – up to a point. As John DeRosier writes, also for The Press, the city’s budget pays out less in casino taxes to the county, meaning that the county tax rate will have to rise. So, at the end of the day, nobody fixed the fact that there’s less money coming into the area’s coffers and it kind of still feels like we’re screwed.

Rehab Prison
Mid-State Correctional, closed since 2014, has been refurbished to house inmates with substance-abuse disorders as part of Gov. Christie’s wider plan to tackle opioid abuse in New Jersey. Christie is hoping that the NJ program can become a model that could be rolled out across the country. NJ Spotlight’s Lilo Stainton has the details here.

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In the rest of the day’s headlines, Burlington County has a former jail on its hands that it’s hoping to find a new use for (the one near Rowan), the Cape May County Herald takes a closer look at the layoffs at Atlantic Cape Community College and if you’re a landowner in South Jersey you could get federal funding to help restore pine savanna, the habitat of the Northern Bobwhite (it’s a quail). All that and more, below:

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