Good Thursday morning!

Today, the effort begins to extend New Jersey’s controversial (to say the least) tax credit program that has since 2013 awarded around $7 billion in incentives.

A bill that had originally been written to extend the program one year is expected to be pared down to seven months. It will probably be vetoed by Gov. Murphy if it makes it to his desk.

So while the tax incentive task force’s report is held up until at least Monday as George Norcross et. al. challenge the panel’s right to function, the Legislature is beginning to move on a bill to extend the program it’s investigating without any changes.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney has already threatened to override a Murphy veto of the extension. Could it work? I don’t know. Are legislators worried how it will look to extend a program as-is that has led to a scathing comptroller’s audit and now a criminal investigation?

Many lawmakers in safe districts are more concerned about being in the good graces of party leadership than their voters, most of whom almost certainly are not tuned into the tax credit fight. Still, if some legislators balk at overriding the governor on a non-controversial piece of legislation like the “dark money” bill, it’s hard to imagine they’d be OK with overriding a veto of this.

DAYS SINCE MURPHY-ALIGNED GROUP INTENTIONALLY BLEW OFF SELF-IMPOSED DEADLINE TO DISCLOSE ITS DONORS:163

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re done. But thanks — oh, we’ve got to sign the bill. Let’s sign the bill.” — Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who as acting governor yesterday signed a resolution designating June 12 “Women Veterans Appreciation Day”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY:Assemblyman John Armato, Center on Budget’s Jon Whiten, Camden County Attorney Matt White

WHERE’S MURPHY?: In Atlantic City for an 11:45 a.m. keynote address at the East Coast Gaming Congress & NexGen Gaming Forum

WHAT TRENTON MADE

I’M GUESSING BOOKER DIDN’T TAKE A POSITION — “Murphy issues new challenge to top Dems who oppose his millionaires tax. Put it up for a vote and see what happens,” by NJ Advance Media’s Matt Arco:“Gov. Phil Murphy is issuing a new challenge to top Democratic leaders who strongly oppose his plan for a millionaires tax. Put it up for a vote and let your Democratic lawmakers decide. The same lawmakers who voted in support of the proposal five times under former Gov. Chris Christie. The Democratic governor said Tuesday he would like to see what happens if a millionaires tax vote is held in the state Senate and Assembly for a vote despite the opposition from Democratic leaders of both chambers, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. ‘I think that’s a good idea,’ Murphy told NJ Advance Media during a trip to Iowa to stump for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s presidential campaign. ‘They know that I want that and I think … they know where the case is,’ he said. ‘It will allow us to deliver the investments in the middle-class.’” Read more here

—“No, governor, I won’t hold a vote on a millionaires tax, top Democrat Sweeney tells Murphy”Read more here

AI GET YOUR GUN — “Smart gun debate reignites in N.J. with bill requiring gun shops to sell them,” by NJ Advance Media’s Samantha Marcus:“The long and heated debate over smart guns — handguns that can only be fired by their designated owners — is about to reignite in New Jersey. The state Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday will consider a half-dozen gun control bills, including one requiring Garden State retailers offer a personalized handgun for sale. It’s likely to once again put New Jersey in the crosshairs of gun activists who have fought the measure since the state first tried to require them back in 2002. Democrats say that law — which requires that only personalized handguns be offered for sale in New Jersey three years after they’re on the market in the U.S. — actually stifled the development and delayed the sale of so-called childproof handguns. They want to repeal the law and replace it with one that would require every retailer offer at least one personalized handgun model for sale.” Read more here

OPIOIDS — Lawmakers show little interest in Murphy’s opioid fee, Medicaid proposals, by POLITICO’s Sam Sutton:Legislative leaders are showing little appetite for two revenue-raising budget measures proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy, possibly stalling the administration’s plans to impose fees on opioid manufacturers and levy assessments on large employers whose workforces rely on Medicaid for health benefits. The proposals, which Murphy first pitched during his budget address to lawmakers in March, wouldn’t raise enough money to make or break the state budget — a little more than $50 million overall — but they would represent major shifts in the administration’s approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and reducing New Jersey’s rising health care obligations. “At this point, we haven’t really thoroughly vetted the legislation that was given to us. I’m not sure where we’re leaning toward on the revenue raisers, if any,” Assembly Budget Chairwoman Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Essex) said. Read more here

FRACKING — “DRBC confirms plan to building export terminal at new South Jersey Port,” by NJ Spotlight’s Jon Hurdle:“The Delaware River Basin Commission acknowledged on Tuesday that an energy company plans to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other liquids through a new export terminal on the Delaware River in South Jersey, updating its earlier statement that LNG was not part of the company’s permit application. Environmental activists have accused the DRBC and other regulators of concealing plans by the developer, Delaware River Partners, to add an LNG terminal to a new port that it plans to build on a former DuPont site in Gibbstown, Gloucester County.” Read more here

@NewsFallon: “.@GovChristie was pretty consistent. You knew he was going to side with fossil fuel and did so by approving a ton of projects. @GovMurphy says he likes to call ‘balls and strikes’ on each major energy project but the only thing consistent here is the inconsistency.”

AND WHO WROTE THOSE 2013 AMENDMENTS CITED HERE? DOES HIS NAME RHYME WITH SEVIN KEEHAN? — “Cooper Health official says the company’s tax incentive award is appropriate, justified and legitimate,” by Cooper’s Thomas Rubino for The Star-Ledger: “Under the 2013 amendments to the law, Growth Zone applicants investing in Camden did not need to demonstrate that any jobs were ‘at risk’ of leaving New Jersey. Applicants only needed to demonstrate that the award of tax credits was a material factor in their decision to move forward with the project. Cooper’s certification and application were clear and consistent with the new law. Cooper was moving 372 employees into a Camden facility. When asked on the application if any jobs were ‘at risk’ of moving out of state, Cooper answered, “No.” Cooper’s CEO certification similarly did not state that any jobs were at risk of leaving the state, only that the tax credits were a material factor in Cooper’s business decision to make a capital investment and locate in Camden. These are the facts. Neither the special task force, nor Mr. Moran, have produced any document that disputes these facts. In no document did Cooper certify that any of its jobs were ‘at risk’ of leaving the state. Not one.” Read more here

FLASHBACK — “The Camden exception: Lawyer for Norcross-linked firm wrote key part of tax credit law”Read more here

TRANSPORTATION— “Don’t hose commuters. Find a better way to fund NJ Transit, transportation group says by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Nick Sifuentes: “Despite a $138 million budget hole at NJ Transit, this year’s budget only offers the agency a scant 1.6 percent increase — actually lower than many Christie budgets … NJ Transit needs its own reliable, progressive funding sources, and those sources need to be protected from political machinations. No governor has taken strides in that direction, but ensuring NJ Transit has its own funding would mean that the agency can count on revenue to use for capital and operations and can budget accordingly. That means both launching long-delayed repair and expansion projects and being able to plan long-term with the confidence of multi-year budget security” Read more here

—“Public ‘deserves a response’ to concerns over school bus company’s safety record, lawmaker says”Read more here

—“Camden’s show of support for EDA tax breaks amid task force controversy”Read more here

—“Healthcare improves in NJ, but spending remains a concern”Read more here

—O’Toole: “Trenton, I hardly miss you…” Read more here

TRUMP ERA

ESSEX DEMS DEMAND ACTION: WHY WASN’T THE CHILD PLACED IN THEIR FACILITY? — “252 days. One mother’s desperate fight to bring her daughter home,” by NJ Advance Media’s Karen Yi:“Sofia, who is 40, lives in a small rented house in New Jersey, where she works preparing food for a catering company. She hasn’t seen Adelina, 10, in almost four years, when she made the agonizing decision to flee the husband she says abused her and seek a better life in the United States … This is the story of a mother who got a second chance with the daughter she thought she’d never see again. It is the story of that 10-year-old girl, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone and was then thrust into a confusing, decentralized immigration system. It is the story of the U.S. government that kept them apart for eight months. Above all, it is a story that illustrates the human toll of immigration policy decisions — decisions that seem to keep changing the rules for those seeking safety in this country; decisions that confound and frustrate those immersed in the system and their advocates.” Read more here

— “Slimy lunch meat, moldy showers, strip searches. Feds find horrid conditions at N.J. ICE facility,” by NJ Advance Media’s Kelly Heyboer: “An inspection of conditions immigrant detainees faced in four facilities around the country — including the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark — found rotting food, decrepit bathrooms, a lack of outdoor space and other ‘egregious violations of detention standards,’ according to a federal report. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General issued a 28-page report last week calling for better oversight of the facilities where Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents hold detainees awaiting immigration hearings, often for months at a time.” Read more here

UNSURE NEWS NETWORK — “Rep. Andy Kim and the fake news that he dissed the flag,” by The Burlington County Times’ John Mullane:“The photograph was taken at a Memorial Day service with a crowd mixed with civilians, veterans and military brass who are either crisply saluting or have hands over hearts. Except for Congressman Andy Kim. He stands out like a hippie at a Union League soiree. He’s front and nearly center, hands clasped at his waist. The photo made the rounds of social media, where the freshman congressman from the 3rd District was drubbed for Kaepernicking the flag. The conservative website ‘SaveJersey’ posted the pic, with Kim circled in red …. Something called ‘Shore News Network’ posted the same pic with an editorial column skewering Rep. Kim. It also posted the pic to its Twitter feed, stating, ‘We have a huge problem when it comes to our sitting Congressman Andy Kim not saluting and recognizing the American flag at a Memorial Day ceremony this weekend.’ But the huge problem is that Snore News Network and SaveJersey apparently didn’t call the congressman or anyone … ‘What they’re saying is not what happened at all,’ said Kryn Westhoven, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.” Read more here

—“Census 2020: Innovation could boost participation — but it won’t come cheap”Read more here

LOCAL

THE FUGITIVE — “Have you seen this mayor? He missed a court hearing, and now there’s a warrant for his arrest,” by LehighValleyLive’s Steve Novak:“The mayor of Phillipsburg was supposed to appear for a hearing Tuesday in a municipal court, where he faces charges of harassment and disorderly conduct. He never showed up. So the judge issued a $1,000 warrant for his arrest. Staff at the municipal court of Peapack-Gladstone in Somerset County on Wednesday morning confirmed the warrant was issued for Mayor Stephen Ellis, and said it is still active. The court staff said Ellis was notified of the hearing — it’s less clear is if his attorney was, too. Both were absent Tuesday. A new hearing has been ordered for next week to explain why. ‘My lawyer tells me where to go and what to do,’ said Ellis, the mayor of Warren County’s most populated town, when reached by phone at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday … The charges against Ellis were brought by a resident, Priya Amador, who claims the mayor threatened her and called her racist and homophobic slurs on at least two occasions last year.” Read more here

MONTCLAIR SOUTH — “Beach easily wins re-election as Camden Dem chairman,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein:“State Sen. James Beach (D-Voorhees) was re-elected Camden County Democratic chairman on Tuesday evening, easily beating back a symbolic challenge from Susan Druckenbrod. Druckenbrod, who won 19% of the vote in her bid for the Democratic mayoral nomination in Cherry Hill last week, was nominated by newly-elected Collingswood Democratic Municipal Chair Kate Delany. A slate of progressive Democrats swept all sixteen county committee seats in Collingswood — the Montclair of the South — giving Delany the chance to place Druckenbrod’s name in nomination … By nominating Druckenrod, Collingswood forced a roll call vote instead of a voice vote.” Read more here

—Snowflack: “Democrats waste no time jumping on Darling’s comments about adoption”Read more here

—“After 3 fatal crashes, Camden County has had enough of people who ride ATVs on public streets”Read more here

—“Police union criticizes Dover officials’ response to allegations of cops’ excessive force”Read more here

—“Dover police officer seen repeatedly punching suspect at the center of several lawsuits”Read more here

—“Paterson police welcome first all-female class and first hijabi officer”Read more here

—Steinberg: “In Ocean County, the Frank Holman tradition continues”Read more here

—“Toms River Council demands Councilman Daniel Rodrick resign after ‘bigoted conduct’”Read more here

—“Union City secures another $6 million loan from NJ”Read more here

—“NJ Supreme Court: Meadowlands landfill to stay temporarily closed amid complaints of fumes”Read more here

EVERYTHING ELSE

UNLIKE THE WIND, THE SUN ACTUALLY CAN GIVE YOU CANCER — “Six Flags Great Adventure unveils massive Jackson solar farm,” by The Asbury Park Press Mike Davis:“The theme park announced Wednesday that its massive solar farm, built and operated by KDC Solar, is fully operational, providing enough power to account for over 98 percent of the park’s energy needs. ‘A lot of places in the industry are starting to think about this, and we’re hoping this will be the trigger for even more ahead,’ Six Flags Great Adventure President John Winkler said. The solar panels, installed across 40 acres and three parking lots, represent the largest net-metered solar project in the state. While the project will officially provide 98 percent of the park’s power, Winkler said that was an understatement: As new technologies debut, it will provide ‘well over 100 percent, so everything we generate can start going to the grid and helping out everyone.’” Read more here

—“Modern milkman: N.J. company offers delivery and pickup of no-waste household supplies and groceries”Read more here

Source: www.politico.com

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