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NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Every "qualified" health insurance plan sold on the Affordable Care Act individual or small business marketplaces must include 10 essential health benefits. They are mandated by the law, and cover everything from emergency services and hospitalizations to maternity care and prescription drugs. But there's one little rub: Each state has a surprising amount of leeway to define what is essential. And benefits in Pennsylvania are a lot stingier than in New Jersey. "Pennsylvania is one of the states that doesn't do well," says Janet Weiner, associate director of health policy at the Leonard Davis Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
CRANBURY, N.J. - In a collective sigh of relief, top state leaders met outside a New Jersey Turnpike service area Friday morning to hail a long-anticipated expansion of the major roadway that is expected to ease commuter frustration. The $2.3 billion turnpike-widening between Mansfield in Burlington County and East Brunswick in Middlesex County is expected to prove its worth in coming days, with the added northbound lanes set to open Sunday. Between Exits 6 and 8A, lanes in each direction were doubled, from three to six. North of that, to Exit 9, one lane was added on each side, bringing the whole turnpike portion in question to a span of 12 lanes.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Thursday stood by comments earlier this week - criticized by Democrats - that he was "tired" of efforts to raise the minimum wage. "I'm going to be very clear, and I'll say it again: I do not think parents in this country are sitting around the kitchen table saying to themselves that their lives would be better if their children could only make a higher minimum wage," Christie told reporters during a campaign stop with Republican congressional candidate Tom MacArthur at Mastoris Diner in Bordentown.
NEWS
October 24, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eufracia Mora and her husband run a commercial and residential painting business, and often have to drive from two to three hours for a job. The parents of two small children ride the whole way unlicensed and on edge. "I'm always nervous every time I get in the car," Mora said, "Every day I drive for work, or I drive the kids to school, I'm worried I'll see a police car. " Mora is undocumented and cannot legally obtain a driver's license. She joined nearly 300 people Wednesday night for a forum on immigration issues largely focused on whether driver's licenses for undocumented residents will be allowed in New Jersey.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey and Pennsylvania have started taking more aggressive action to prevent drug overdoses. New federal statistics suggest that the action is overdue. Both states had among the biggest increases in overdose deaths nationally between 2010 and 2012, even as mortality appears to have leveled off in some other parts of the country. During that period, New Jersey's drug fatality rate rose 40 percent, the second-biggest increase after Alaska's, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
NEWS
October 21, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Over nearly a year in Washington, freshman U.S. Sen. Cory Booker has shown the energy that made the former Newark mayor a national figure. He's sponsored bills that have been subsumed into successful legislation, brought home funding for worthy purposes in New Jersey, and made it a mission to figure out how to break the partisan divide that has earned this Congress the reputation of being one of the least productive in history. The 45-year-old Democrat was elected to the Senate in an oddly timed special election last year to finish the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
NEWS
October 21, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Voters heading to the polls in November will decide a question that's been a familiar presence on state ballots: how to pay for open space. They also will be asked to decide a change to the New Jersey Constitution that would allow judges to deny bail to certain defendants - a measure Gov. Christie is pushing as part of an overhaul of the state's bail system. Currently, the constitution enshrines the right to bail for anyone charged with a crime. The open-space measure on the ballot Nov. 4 will ask voters whether to approve spending for land preservation, but differently from past questions.
NEWS
October 21, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAYREVILLE, N.J. - The dream of becoming a Bomber on this town's beloved high school football team begins across the street from the stadium floodlights, down the hill on the playing field tucked behind a lake. The Mighty Mites squad of 8- and 9-year-olds pad up in black jerseys, team name on front, last name and number on back. They run tackle and speed drills for two hours three days a week. When coaches speak, the players huddle and take a knee. They are still just children, and don't fully comprehend why the high school football team - the players they idolize - no longer storm the field on Friday nights.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Friday signed into law a bill repealing New Jersey's ban on sports wagering, but that doesn't mean casinos will begin letting consumers gamble on football games this weekend. Christie signed the bill, which cleared the Legislature on Thursday, as part of the state's new strategy to allow sports betting at casinos and horse racetracks. The issue has taken on added urgency following the casino closures in Atlantic City. The Christie administration last month declared that sports betting would be legal in the state, and the new law was drafted to satisfy the courts, which had ruled against New Jersey's last attempt to legalize sports betting.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
As his party lurches toward November's midterm elections at risk of losing control of the Senate, U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker said a Democratic majority is needed to tackle big problems such as immigration and corporate tax policy. "This is why I think it's so important the Democrats hold the Senate: The House is controlled by Republicans, and Republicans are heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the tea party," Booker said in an interview Tuesday with the Inquirer Editorial Board. "Trust me. You don't think [Republican House Speaker John]
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