04/20/2017 07:22 AM EDT

By Matt Friedman (mfriedman@politico.com; @mattfriedmannj) with Rebecca Morin (rmorin@politico.com; @RebeccaMorin_)

Talk about burying the lede. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadgano came out with a novel idea to actually cut property taxes by giving a credit for up to $3,000 on every dollar a taxpayer spends on school taxes that's more than 5 percent of his or her income. This would act as a "circuit breaker," Guadagno's campaign says. But it would be a very expensive circuit breaker.

At the bottom of Guadagno's press release on the plan, her campaign states that it would cost the state $1.5 billion. And to her campaign's credit, it's a fairly detailed proposal - at least for a press release. Until you get to this part: "Guadagno proposes paying for this plan by using savings from a statewide government audit, excess adjustment aid from overfunded school districts and additional revenue growth to the state." It's that easy, huh?

Naturally, Guadagno's chief rival jumped on the $1.5 billion figure in his own press release. "Proposing a $1.5 billion property tax plan by saying it will be paid for with undetermined savings and assumed revenue growth is both dangerous and irresponsible. This kind of proposal is a continuation of the failed economic and fiscal policies of the last 7+ years that have led to 11 credit downgrades, the highest property taxes in the country, and a record number of people fleeing the state," Ciattarelli said.

WHERE'S CHRISTIE? In Atlantic City for the Gateway Project groundbreaking at 11:30 am (no, obviously not Amtrak's Gateway project), followed by Ask the Governor at 7 pm

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Don't tell me a lie And sell it as a fact I've been down that road before And I ain't goin' back And don't you brag to me That you never read a book I never put my faith In a con man and his crooks" - Bruce Springsteen in a new anti-Trump song

DAYS SINCE CHRISTIE HAS TAKEN QUESTIONS FROM NJ PRESS CORPS: 10

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Chris Donnelly of Kivvit

WHAT TRENTON MADE

IF ONLY THERE HAD BEEN A NEW TUNNEL THAT WOULD TODAY BE ALMOST READY TO OPEN - "After pressing Trump in private, Christie goes public with Gateway funding push," by POLITICO's Ryan Hutchins: "A month ago, after the White House said it wanted to eliminate a key infrastructure funding program that was expected to pay for much of the new Gateway tunnel to New York, Gov. Chris Christie shrugged off the development and said he wasn't particularly concerned about the future of the $20 billion project. 'I'm a bottom-line guy; if they pay for 50 percent of the tunnel, I don't care where they get the money from,' Christie said at the time, adding that he wasn't planning 'to go jumping off the cliff quite yet.' On Wednesday, the Republican governor moved closer to the edge, joining Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at a press conference in which they called on the secretary of transportation to come see the existing, century-old infrastructure that's causing more and more headaches for the region's commuters. For a governor who still maintains a close relationship with President Donald Trump, talking to him several times a week and recently spending most of two days in the Oval Office, it was an odd look to be publicly raising concern about the administration's commitment to the transportation program." Read the report

-"Ciattarelli pushes for NJ Transit, Gateway funding" Read the report

-"Amtrak CEO upbeat despite derailments" Read the report

OH YEAH, THAT - "Clock keeps ticking on Christie's 100 days to fix school aid," by NJ Advance Media's Samantha Marcus and Adam Clark: "Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year promised to sit down with state lawmakers and try fix the state's oft-maligned school funding formula, under one condition: '100 days,' the governor told Democratic lawmakers in his final state budget address. 'We have 100 days to get this done.' Fifty days have now passed since Christie's Feb. 28 speech, but the two sides have shown little indication of a potential breakthrough, despite unanimous agreement from the governor and legislative leaders that school aid must be addressed." Read the report

POPULISM - "Despite anemic fundraising, state GOP paid $11K for Christie five-star hotel stay," by POLITICO's Matt Friedman: "Records released by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on Wednesday show the Republican State Committee raised just $31,543 in the first three months of 2017 but paid more than half that for Washington, D.C., hotel stays for the governor and his staff during President Donald Trump's inauguration." Read the report

-"Man allegedly held loaded gun during traffic stop and cops are frustrated he's out of jail" Read the report

AS LONG AS THEY'RE NOT CALLED TAXES - "Here are all the fees Christie wants to hike in order to raise $20M," by NJ 101.5's Michael Symons: "Gov. Chris Christie is proposing to increase and expand fees by more than $20 million to support the budget of the state Department of Law and Public Safety. A 90-cent monthly fee already charged on landline and cellular phones would be extended to prepaid cell phones, generating $13 million. An additional $1 would be added on all motor vehicles fines. Applicants for positions that require background checks would pay $15 more in fingerprinting fees. And there's more." Read the report

-"AG says he has recused himself from car-hail fingerprinting decision" Read the report

WHAT ABOUT BOB? - "Why Bob McDonnell Won't Save Bob Menendez," by Randall Eliason, Sidebars Blog: "U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is facing trial this fall on corruption charges. His lawyers will claim the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Bob McDonnell case means the charges against Menendez cannot stand. But the effect of the McDonnell case on the Bob Menendez trial is likely to be pretty limited. New Jersey Democrat Menendez and his co-defendant Dr. Salomon Melgen were indicted in April 2015 ... The case has been on hold for two years while Menendez pursued claims that his prosecution is barred by the Constitution's Speech or Debate clause. The trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected those arguments. The Supreme Court recently declined to hear his appeal, finally clearing the way for the case to go to trial." Read the report

2017

TRY RECRUITING CANDIDATES NEXT TIME- "NJEA may be walking a political tightrope in its effort to oust Sweeney," by POLITICO's Linh Tat: "The state's largest teachers union has made no secret of the fact it wants Stephen Sweeney out as Senate president. But just how vulnerable Sweeney will be in the face of opposition by the 200,000-member-strong New Jersey Education Association remains to be seen ... For now, NJEA leaders are keeping whatever ideas they may have to oust Sweeney - if such strategies have even been mapped out - close to the vest. There had been speculation the union would try to prop up a candidate in the June primary to challenge Sweeney for his Senate seat. But when no Democratic challenger stepped forward, the NJEA found itself faced with two scenarios: back Sweeney's Republican challenger in the general election or, if Sweeney wins re-election, work to convince other state lawmakers not to re-elect him as Senate president. It's a tightrope the union is walking, some political observers say, with the potential for alienating elected officials if Democratic lawmakers perceive the NJEA as trying to dictate how they should vote on matters such as selecting their leader." Read the report

- "In NJEA Feud, experts see little threat to Sweeney senate presidency" Read the report

PHIL MURPHY TO BE SHOWN AS HAT EMOJI - "Facebook Live to be used for N.J. gubernatorial debates," by The Record's Nicholas Pugliese: "If New Jersey residents want to watch their candidates for governor square off on stage for the first time next month, they'll first have to find their way to Facebook. The state's election watchdog announced this week that the first two primary debates - one each for Republicans and Democrats - will be held on May 9 at Stockton University in Atlantic County and broadcast on Facebook Live. The Democratic candidates will then have a short turn-around before their second debate, on May 11 in Newark, while the Republican candidates will meet again on May 18. Those events will be broadcast by NJTV, NJ Spotlight, WNET and C-SPAN." Read the report

BACK IN ACTION - "ELEC releases almost 100 campaign finance complaints, fines," by POLITICO's Matt Friedman: "The dam just broke at ELEC. The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which is once again meeting after a year of inaction caused by the slowness of Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney to appoint members to its open seats, released nearly 100 campaign finance complaints and fines on Wednesday, many of which had been awaiting official action for months." Read the report

- In run-up to 2017 election, parties raising less than in past gubernatorial election years" Read the report

-"Democratic gubernatorial debate bar notes: Wiz v. Lesniak v. Brennan v. Zinna v. Johnson v. Schaffer (Murphy)" Read the report

PIC OF THE DAY - I really have no words for this one, via Aristide Economopoulos

THE TRUMP ERA

SCOTNJ - "Rabner calls on ICE to stop arrests of undocumented immigrants at courthouses," by POLITICO's Katherine Landergan: "The state's chief justice is urging the federal government to stop arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses, saying such actions could erode the public's confidence in the judicial system. In a letter for Homeland Secretary John Kelly, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner condemned two arrests at local courthouses in New Jersey in recent weeks by Immigration Customs and Enforcement officers. A spokesman for Rabner said the arrests occurred in Middlesex and Passaic counties. When individuals fear that they will be arrested for a civil immigration violation if they set foot into a courthouse, serious consequences are likely to follow,' Rabner wrote. 'Witnesses to violent crimes may decide to stay away from court and remain silent. Victims of domestic violence and other offenses may choose not to testify against their attackers. Children and families in need of court assistance may likewise avoid the courthouse.'" Read the report

-Christie statement: "I do not believe now, nor have I ever believed that it is appropriate for the Chief Justice of the State of New Jersey to be attempting to dictate law enforcement policy to federal agencies."

THE GARRETT AND THE STICK - "What Garrett's former N.J. colleagues said about his nomination by Trump to run the Ex-Im Bank," by NJ Advance Media's Jonathan Salant: "All seven New Jersey House Democrats on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to reject former Rep. Scott Garrett's nomination to run the Export-Import Bank, calling the choice 'unconscionable.' President Donald Trump last week chose Garrett, a fierce critic of the bank during his time in Congress, to head the agency that provides U.S. government-backed loans to help companies sell their products overseas. 'It is clear that Mr. Garrett's record of animus toward the agency deems him unfit to assume the role of President and carry forth its mission to facilitate the export of U.S. goods and services and promote job creation across the United States' the lawmakers wrote to Senate leaders." Read the report

ABOUT 85,000 - "How many N.J. jobs are held by workers with tech visas targeted by Trump," by NJ Advance Media's Kathleen O'Brien: "About 85,000 jobs in New Jersey are held by foreign workers who are here on H-1B visas - a category now being targeted by President Trump. On Tuesday, the president ordered a crackdown on U.S. tech companies that he said may be gaming the system by falsely claiming they face a shortage of qualified American job applicants ... New Jersey has the fourth highest number of H-1B workers, trailing only California, Texas and New York. And, as elsewhere around the country, most of the visa holders work as computer systems analysts, computer programmers, all other computer occupations; software and application developers, and management analysts." Read the report

NO-BIONDO - "U.S Rep LoBiondo town hall finally happened - without LoBiondo," by Philly Inquirer's Amy S. Rosenberg: "A long sought after town hall for U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican from New Jersey's 2d Congressional District, was finally held Tuesday night - without LoBiondo. A group calling itself Cooper River Indivisible sponsored the meeting at the Salem Inn. But LoBiondo had already declined their invitation to attend." Read the report

AND I WOULD WALK 1,000 MILES JUST TO READ THE STUFF I'VE READ BEFORE - "1,000 miles, 100 days later: Road trip through Trump country," by The Record's Elyse Toribio: "North Jersey columnist Mike Kelly and videographer Chris Pedota - #TeamRecord - will spend five days on the road to capture the mood of America in a four-state trek that begins in Gettysburg and continues into West Virginia's coal mining region, through Ohio's rust belt and Pennsylvania's steel country and then back to New Jersey and several communities that supported Trump. We'll blend all that has transpired since Trump's inaugural on Jan. 20 with "real-people" analysis. How do voters in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and New Jersey feel about the first 100 days - and what could come the balance of Trump's term?" Read the report

-"2 N.J. guys ask Trump backer in Arkansas to play 'Red State Roulette'" Read the report

-"4 Rutgers alums lead no-shows as Patriots visit Donald Trump's White House" Read the report

-"Willingboro sides against paying mayor's legal fees" Read the report

LOCAL

ELECTED OFFICIALS STILL SILENT ON THIS - "SCHI overcharged Lakewood, others by $340G," by The Asbury Park Press' Payton Guion: "A high-cost school for special-needs children, whose founder and director was recently indicted on charges he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money, overcharged the township's impoverished public school district and other schools by at least $340,000 in one year, the Asbury Park Press found. The School for Children with Hidden Intelligence overbilled the districts by paying uncertified teachers; paying certain employees more than permitted by state law; and buying items deemed unnecessary for the school, according to an audit by the state Department of Education of the 2011-2012 school year. Some of those items were purchased at Costco, Staples and from merchants on eBay and mailed to the home of an employee not named in the audit. A large-ticket item, a power generator, was ostensibly purchased for the school's summer camp, but it could not be located by auditors. The school also failed to do background checks on 71 of the 77 employees it hired that year, the audit found." Read the report

R.I.P. - "Former Morris County freeholder dies in North Carolina," by NJ Advance Media's Rob Jennings: "A former two-term Morris County freeholder elected in the late 1970s died over the weekend in North Carolina. Patricia J. "Pat" Maynard had been battling ovarian cancer for nine years, according to an announcement on the county government's website. She was 82" Read the report

AC - "Whelan advocates for Atlantic City police and firefighter buyouts," by The Press of Atlantic City's Christian Hetrick: "Early retirement buyouts for public safety workers may be costly, but state Sen. Jim Whelan argues they'd save the city money in the long run. As police and firefighters face layoffs, Whelan, D-Atlantic, tried to shift the conversation away from the cost of the buyouts to their potential savings, even as the city's state overseers said the incentives are off the table." Read the report

RAMAPOUGHS - "Tepee summonses reinstated against Ramapough tribe,' by The Record's Tom Nobile: "MAHWAH - The township has denied a Native American tribe's application to hold religious and cultural gatherings on tribal land and reinstated court summonses accusing it of building tepees without permission. Township Engineer Mike Kelly said in a letter that the Ramapough Lenape Nation's 13-acre property off Halifax Road is being used as a place of public assembly and as a campground with tepees, tents, a canvas cabin and 'a structure consisting of lumber with roof, floor and cabinets.' However, the only permitted uses at the site, which is listed as a conservation zone, are public open space, agricultural uses, single-family homes and municipal facilities, Kelly's letter said." Read the report

-"Why a crooked NJ school official won't lose his $110,000-a-year pension" Read the report

-"Paterson may scrap school tax hike but still cut jobs" Read the report

-"Linden PD in turmoil after wrong-way fatal crash, disgraced cop testifies" Read the report

-"Jersey Shore mayor who owns bar, hotel tried to block competitor, suit says"Read the report

-"Bar Fight: owners of never-opened tiki bar sue Belmar" Read the report

-"Rider University faculty vote 'no confidence' in school president" Read the report

-"Here are 15 questions we still want answered after report into H.S. hoops scandal" Read the report

-"Former police chief sues Palisades Park, citing retaliation for whistle-blowing" Read the report

ODDS AND ENDS

MY ADDRESS IS 125 ELM STREET, APT. 3 JERSEY CITY, NJ 07306 - "Reefer Mailness: Man finds unexpected delivery of pot in mailbox," by The Record's Andrew Wyrich: "A village resident had something of a 'long strange trip' when he opened his mailbox late last week. Officers responded to a home on Fairfield Avenue on Saturday when a resident called to report that someone appeared to have left a bag of marijuana in his mailbox before driving away, authorities said. The resident said that he had spotted a vehicle - believed to be a gray Ford Explorer - parked outside of his home then had heard his mailbox - which is directly next to his front door - open and close, authorities said. When the resident looked inside his mailbox, he found a single "small" glassine bag of pot, authorities said." Read the report

SOMEWHERE NICE TO HANG AFTER BEING VIOLENTLY REMOVED FROM YOUR FLIGHT - "Newark airport to get new Terminal A," by NJTV's Brenda Flagan: "'Terminal A. I just think it's outdated," said Teresa Hamilton. 'It's time for an upgrade, and we want to be a part of it,' said Dana Ross. Ross and Hamilton co-own Showcase Kitchen Installers - a Newark business that joined hundreds of women and minority-owned firms lining up today for a piece of the $2.3 billion the Port Authority will spend to build a new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. What's that going to do for Hamilton? For one, our reputation would go sky-high,' she said." Read the report

TO PROTECT AND SWERVE - "Did Irvington cop hit Newark councilman's car? Experts disagree," by NJ Advance Media's Marisa Iati and Thomas Moriarty: "Experts for the prosecution and defense in the trial of an Irvington police officer accused of hitting a Newark councilman's SUV three times after he broke up with her by email offered competing conclusions this week about whether the cars ever came into contact. An investigator from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office told a jury Tuesday that the car driven by the police officer, Monique Smith, definitely struck South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James' SUV on Jan. 5, 2015. A forensic expert for the defense, meanwhile, said Wednesday that the crash data recorder in Smith's Honda Accord did not show any signs the car had struck her ex-boyfriend's Nissan Xterra." Read the report

-"Every N.J. gun death reported in 2015 on a single map" Read the report

-"The dirty details about the litter found on N.J. beaches" Read the report

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