On the list this week: Toll collectors, Paterson, health care costs and more …
Face Time: Federalist
He vetoed the bill that would have opened the door for New Jersey to have sports gambling, calling federal law “sacrosanct.” Ignoring federal law, he said, is “counter to our democratic traditions and inconsistent with the constitutional values I have sworn to defend and protect.” Hmmm, defending and protecting the U.S. Constitution — that sounds like the role of another office.
They’re usually not on a list of favorites, but we salute officials at the Delaware Bridge after they caught a West Deptford woman with more than $5,000 in unpaid tolls. Officials for the bridge estimated toll dodgers cost them nearly $1 million a year, or roughly 1 percent of their revenue.
You hear plenty about Newark and Camden. Wouldn’t it be great for Paterson to regain its footing as a top city in New Jersey? The announcement of a $100 million hotel and conference center that will break ground this fall could be a good start. It will be run as a Doubletree by Hilton.
A Pennsylvania firm is going to build a 100-mile pipeline to ship natural gas to Trenton. The move, which still needs final approvals, will lower costs. Pending approval is the key here. Don’t talk about finding energy savings but then balk at projects such as this one.
No wonder so many of those millennials don’t want to own cars. A recent report from Bankrate.com said New Jerseyans pay an estimated annual cost of $2,421 to own a car in this state, the fifth-highest in the country.
Health care costs
A recent study said New Jersey has one of the most expensive health benefits plans in the country, with average state workers’ plans being 1.5 times more expensive than the average. It’s a “Cadillac” plan — and almost all of it is paid for by the taxpayers.
It’s not just the closing of Revel, but the city as a whole. But don’t take our word for it — wait until the next bond ratings come out. A.C., already at “junk” status, doesn’t figure to improve any time soon.