Archive for April, 2011

80% of New Jersey School Budgets Approved in 2011

Actually it was 79.7% of the budgets were approved. This information and a more thorough recap are found courtesy of NJSBA. Historical statistics on school board elections can be accessed as well.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Royal Wedding but Were Afraid to Ask

Try looking at the 13-page Media Briefing from St James’s Palace and the 28-page Royal Wedding Official Programme.

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State Retirement Systems Lose 24% of Their Value in 2009

According to the Census Bureau’s latest figures, state pension systems were hard hit by the recession. Figures are available for the nation as an aggregate along with state tables. In 2009, New Jersey contributed $54M to the pension system, making it the fifth lowest in the nation, beating out only Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and Vermont. (table 2) Six detailed tables with information back to 2007 can also be consulted. There is an informative article from The Washington Post that is well worth the read.

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2011 New Jersey School Board/Budget Elections Results

Hudson County results are here; Jersey City’s budget was approved by a narrow margin. Other New Jersey counties can be found here; Bergen and Passaic counties are here. Along with the preceding links, you can find news/analysis/comments at: NJ Spotlight, Cherry Hill Post Courier,the Associated Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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List of New Jersey School Districts Exceeding 2% Cap

Here is the list; Cape May exceeds its cap by 34% due to higher enrollment. An explanation of the list is also available.

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New Jersey Has Set Aside Zero Dollars for Retiree Health Care

So says the Pew Center on the States Widening the Gap: The Great Recession’s Impact on State Pension and Retiree Health Care Costs. Not only does New Jersey still underfund its pension obligations to such an extent that the state is the twelfth worst in the country, but years of abuse and neglect have left the retiree health care funds with ZERO dollars. News, analysis, and commentary are at: The Star-Ledger, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Asbury Park Press.

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Election Results for Early America, 1787-1825

When the Constitution was still young, thousands of elections were held in this country from presidential to local races. However, there was no central repository for the elections results;  they were scattered throughout public records housed in dozens of locations. A single individual, Philip Lampi, has devoted his life to compiling these records, more than 35,000 of them. Currently, more than half of these elections have been made accessible through A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825. You can search by candidate, office, year, and state; the advanced search allows limiting to party affiliation, such as the “Bucktail” party or name of office, such as “Clerk of the Market.” While New Jersey’s results are still being entered, you can still discover hundreds of races and their results; for example, who won the 1788 election for Essex County Sheriff or the 1790 race for governor (with links to Lampi’s original handwritten tabulations as well as a citation to the original source). Informative readings include: Voting the Early America (CW Journal);  and Winning the Vote: A History of Voting Rights (History Now).

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