Tag Archive: James Zazzali

News Round-up and Open Thread for Thursday, May 31, 2007

Open Thread: What say you today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Open Thread: What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, October 24

There’s a lot to report today, folks.

  • Environmental protection commissioner Lisa Jackson yesterday revealed plans to do a complete overhaul of Our Fair State’s $60 million cleanup program. Changes will include prioritizing the sites for cleanup, starting a licensing program for environmental consultants, and adopting programs with incentives for cleaning up sites quickly. The department is trying to fix the system after the high-profile closing of a daycare in Gloucester County which was located on contaminated soil.
  • Children and Families Commissioner Kevin Ryan reported to the Assembly Human Services Committee yesterday that new child welfare workers are getting their training but re-training existing workers is taking longer. Also, the number of kids in foster care who receive physical and psychological examinations has increased, but an overhaul of the health care system for foster children is needed and will be proposed.
  • As expected, the State Senate unanimously approved Associate Justice James Zazzali as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court yesterday, and Judge Helen Hoens was approved to fill the associate position.
  • State Senator Ellen Karcher’s bill to curb political contributions from redevelopment contractors and professionals has received bipartisan support. Even with such support the bill may not pass, because of other ethics reform legislation being proposed.
  • State Senator Stephen Sweeney has been under fire from labor groups about his proposal to cut the benefits and pay of unionized state workers. Sweeney met with the president of the AFL-CIO earlier this month and has been defending his proposals.
  • The Legislative ethics panel met yesterday, selecting Raymond Bramucci as chairman. The panel put off a decision to investigate Wayne Bryant and his “job” at UMDNJ, citing two ongoing criminal investigations by the US and State Attorneys’ General offices.
  • Rutgers announced yesterday the formation of the Rutgers Energy Institute, which will bring together all energy-focused projects under one banner. The Institute’s long-term goal is to help break American dependence on fossil fuels, particularly those from foreign sources.
  • Speaking of alternative power sources, more residents of Our Fair State favor the use of offshore wind power than oppose them, and even more are in favor if the turbines are further away. Woo-hoo!
  • Viola Thomas-Hughes is feeling little support in her run against Frank LoBiondo. Until last week, she had received no financial support, from Dem organizations in Gloucester and Cumberland counties. In the last week Cape May Democrats and Cumberland County Dem organization have donated, with the Gloucester County Dems promising some as well. Visit her site if you can help, too.
  • New Jersey is a tough place for military recruiters; only Connecticut and Rhode Island have lower recruiting percentages. Officials and researchers blame the lack of interaction between military folks and civilians in Our Fair State, while some recruiters directly blame the Iraq war.

Open Thread: What’s on your mind today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, October 17

  • The investigation of State Senator Wayne Bryant is expanding, with federal investigators subpoenaing financial records from Department of Children and Families’ dealings with Bryant’s former employer UMDNJ, and records from the Office of Legislative Services about public agencies’ business with Bryant’s law firm.
  • The Nat’l Republican Senate Committee is pouring more money into Tom Kean JUNIOR’s senate run, now to re-run an ad about ethics questions. No comment was made about the irony of JUNIOR redirecting attention with ethics questions.
  • Assembly Democrats are hearing updates and ideas from the special committees set up this summer to investigate property tax reform, hoping to meet the deadline they set of one month from now. Meanwhile, state Sen. Bill Gormely has proposed revamping the health insurance program for public employees, which would face strong opposition from the unions.
  • Moving forward: Lucile Davy is officially the state education commissioner now, while State Supreme Court Associate Justice James Zazzali has been approved by the State Senate judiciary committee to move to chief justice and Appellate Division Justice Helen Hoens has been approved to move to the high court.
  • Mayors are still allowed to collect fees for performing weddings. An ethics violation determination by the Department of Community Affairs has been dropped.
  • The Borough Council in Keyport is expected to consider a proposed ordinance that would fine landlords $1000 if they have units rented to illegal immigrants. “This is a racist ordinance with the sole purpose of getting rid of all Latinos in Keyport,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders. “We are ready to file a lawsuit in federal court should it ever be adopted.”
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ has settled a class-action suit brought by 40,000 doctors who said they were shortchanged by Our Fair State’s largest HMO. Horizon agreed to “continue significant business practice improvements” and will pay the doctors’ lawyer fees.
  • Atlantic City’s Steel Pier Amusement Park closed its doors this past weekend. Trump Entertainment plans to redevelop the pier, but into what is as yet unknown.
  • Feel crowded in this morning? About 7:46AM today, the United States population crossed the 300 million mark.
  • Today is the LAST DAY to register to vote to be eligible to vote in the election on Nov. 7th. Go here if you need information, and pass it on! You can also go vote now, if you’d like- no reason is needed to vote absentee in Our Fair State.

Open Thread: What’s on your mind today, Blue Jersey?

Corzine nominates new Supreme Court Chief Justice

Governor Corzine today tapped Associate Supreme Court Justice James R. Zazzali to replace Chief Justice Deborah Poritz.  Poritz, under NJ law must leave the court Oct. 26 when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Zazzali is a former Attorney General and has served on the Supreme Court since his appointment in 2000.

A Democrat, Zazzali attended Seton Hall Preparatory School and graduated from Georgetown College in 1958 and Georgetown Law Center in 1962.

Before joining the high court, Zazzali worked for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, state Sports and Exposition Authority, Bloomfield College, the state Commission of Investigation and as attorney general from March 1981 to January 1982. He was also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School and former associate editor of the New Jersey Law Journal.

It is interesting to note that he will be 70 next year as well, giving Corzine the opportunity to appoint another Chief Justice.  There have been rumblings that the Governor wants to name his new Attorney General Stuart Rabner to the post so we will have to watch how that plays out.

The nomination left a vacancy on the court which will be filled by the elevation of Appellate Court Judge Helen E. Hoens to Associate Justice.