Volume 8/Issue 7

  • RCSG's Eric Shuffler Named as One of the 2018 Insider 100 Policymakers
  • Murphy Administration Announces Major Changes to PARCC Testing for Students
  • Murphy Administration Seeks Up to Six New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries 
  • NJ BPU Takes Several Actions to Move State Towards Using More Renewable Energy Technologies 

RCSG’s Eric Shuffler Named As One of the 2018 Insider 100 Policymakers 

River Crossing Strategy Group Principal Eric Shuffler was recently named to InsiderNJ.com’s 2018 Insider 100 Policymaker’s List.

The list highlights Eric’s deep policy background and his work as a counselor and speechwriter for multiple New Jersey Governors.

Murphy Administration Announces Major Changes to PARCC Testing for Students

Referencing the 21-county tour held by NJ Department of Education Commission Lamont Repollet and his staff, the Murphy Administration announced their first steps to transition away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and towards a new generation of statewide testing.

The Department will issue a report, detailing proposals for draft regulations and other upcoming changes in the 2018-19 school year. The changes the Department is recommending for State Board of Education review includes:

  • Streamlining graduation requirements by reducing the number of required tests in high school from six to two;
  • Ensuring that educators and parents receive test data in a timely manner

The Administration also plans to move on other changes that do not require State Board approval. This includes reducing the length of testing for all grades by approximately 25 percent and reducing the weight of the assessment on teacher evaluations.

The move away from PARCC thus far has received mixed reviews from the Legislature. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin lauded the Administration’s moves as “a step in the right direction.”

However, Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Teresa Ruiz expressed concerns about the Murphy Administration proposal, telling NJTV, “We always kept hearing the same thing: stop teaching to the test. We want to create critical thinkers. This test allows for that,” she said.

The Senate Education Committee plans to invite the Department of Education to appear before the panel to have “a robust discussion about their objectives.”

Murphy Administration Seeks Up to Six New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Citing the need to create more options for patients, the NJ Department of Health announced that it is seeking up to six new applicants to operate medicinal marijuana dispensaries — two each in the northern, central and southern regions of New Jersey.

Applicants, can be either non-profits are for-profit operations, are required to operate a dispensary and facilities that do cultivating and manufacturing, and provide evidence of site control and verification of the approval of the governing body in the municipality where they intend to locate.

Click here for more information, including important upcoming meeting dates.

NJ BPU Takes Several Actions to Move State Towards Using More Renewable Energy Technologies

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities initiated two actions to support establishing an offshore wind program and to implement a community solar pilot program.

The agency issued a notice of public hearing related to a future solicitation of 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. Topics for discussion include the structure of the initial 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity and establishing favorable conditions to ensure strong competition from multiple offshore wind developers.

The hearing will take place on Thursday, July 19, 10 a.m. at Mercer County Community College, Conference Center at Mercer Auditorium, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ.

As a requirement of the recent Clean Energy Act signed by Governor Murphy in April, the BPU is required to adopt rules and regulations establishing a community solar pilot program within 210 days of the enactment of the law.

The agency recently announced that it will hold a community solar pilot program stakeholder meeting on July 24 to be held at Rutgers University to gather input for the implementation of the state’s community solar pilot program.