Volume 6/Issue 17

  • Senate Committee Passes School Funding Commission Bill
  • Governor Christie Ends Tax Reciprocity Agreement with Pennsylvania
  • Englewood Hospital & Medical Center's Alliance Highlighted by NJBIZ
  • Lt. Governor Guadagno Increases Public Profile

Senate Committee Passes School Funding Commission Bill

The Senate Education Committee passed legislation yesterday sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Committee Chairwoman Teresa Ruiz to create a special commission to develop a school funding reform plan to bring all districts to full funding within five years. 

The new concurrent resolution (SCR119) is noteworthy, as it removes the Governor from the process of appointing members to the commission.  Concurrent resolutions must gain approval from the Senate and Assembly, but do not require the Governor’s signature.  The Governor has his own school funding plan, but the Legislature is not likely to vote on his proposal.

The commission will study the impact of adjustment aid and the enrollment growth cap, assess the impact of tax growth on the ability of school districts to fund their schools, look at per-pupil administrative costs, the fairness of the current equalized valuation and income measure, and the impact of property tax abatements.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling will sponsor the legislation in the Assembly. 

SCR119 is posted for a full Senate vote on Thursday.

Governor Christie Ends Tax Reciprocity Agreement with Pennsylvania

Governor Christie announced earlier this month that he was ending a nearly 40-year agreement New Jersey had with the State of Pennsylvania to allow New Jersey residents who work across the Delaware River to pay income taxes where they live. The agreement allowed Pennsylvania residents to do the same.  The move is expected to generate approximately $180 million in additional revenue for New Jersey.

Governor Christie explained his reasoning for ending the agreement in a statement released to the press.  As reported in the Star Ledger, "Today's action was made necessary by the Legislature irresponsibly creating a $250 million state budget hole in June," Christie said. "I will not raise state taxes, cut property tax relief, reduce aid to education or our hospitals, or reduce the state's record pension payment to cover for this blunder by the Legislature." He stated was looking for the “least painful option” to balance the budget.

Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, who both represent districts that border with Pennsylvania, blasted the Governor’s decision. "More than 100,000 people will pay nearly $1,000 more a year in income tax,” said the Senate President.  

Governor Christie indicated he would reconsider ending the agreement if the Legislature identified the $250 million in savings in public employee health insurance costs.  He has until January 1 to follow through on his decision, which doesn’t require legislation.

Englewood Hospital & Medical Center’s Alliance Highlighted by NJBIZ

Englewood Hospital & Medical Center’s (EHMC) Alliance with Hackensack Meridian was recently highlighted by NJBIZ.

The article notes that EHMC has partnered with Hackensack Meridian on various hospital collaborations, software that allows the two systems to share medical records electronically and collaborating on a new medical school jointly operated by Hackensack Meridian and Seton Hall University.

EHMC is a client of River Crossing Strategy Group.

Lt. Governor Guadagno Increases Public Profile

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno has started to increase her public profile by appearing on regular segment on NJ101.5 radio.

The segment, known as #diggininwithkim, partners the Lt. Governor with 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea.  She also recently filled in on the Station’s “Ask the Governor” program when Governor Christie is traveling.

The move comes ahead of the Lt. Governor’s anticipated run for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2017.