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Michael Symons

I'm the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5, covering the governor, Legislature and state politics, and had previously covered the Statehouse for Gannett newspapers for more than 15 years. I'm a lifelong New Jerseyan -- raised in Bergen, living in Hunterdon, Rutgers graduate. I'm co-author of the 2012 biography 'Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power.' I am not the Iron Chef with a similar name though sometimes get tweets meant for him, especially around Thanksgiving. Believe me, you don't want my cooking tips.
ThinkStock
ThinkStock
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NJ property taxes up $700M in 2016 — See how your bill compares

Property taxes increased by 2.54% in 2016 across New Jersey, a New Jersey 101.5 analysis finds. The average bill rose $196, or 2.35%, and now exceeds $8,500.

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Sen. Jennifer Beck speaks at a Statehouse event, joined by other lawmakers, school officials and the NJEA president. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Sen. Jennifer Beck speaks at a Statehouse event, joined by other lawmakers, school officials and the NJEA president. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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Republicans join NJ teachers union to fight ‘catastrophic’ school aid changes

The idea of cutting promised aid to 126 districts prompts an unusual alliance. The Senate president says it's 'pandering' not to trim where enrollments are down.

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Horizon Health Care
(Tim Larsen/Governor's Office)
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Christie announces fine against Horizon, pushes reform. Is it ‘retaliation’?

Penalties over Medicaid billing issues aren’t typically disclosed by the Department of Human Services, let alone announced publicly by Gov. Chris Christie.

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Marijuana
Getty Images
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Pot groups: Let NJers smoke marijuana in public

Though there won't be a vote on legalization for at least seven months, a Senate panel heard testimony for five hours Monday on legalizing marijuana in New Jersey.

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New Jersey Lottery game card
New Jersey Lottery game card (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)
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NJ lawmakers taking closer look at approving lottery-to-pensions deal

Less than two weeks remain before the date Gov. Chris Christie hopes the Legislature approves a complicated transaction involving the pension funds and lottery.

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The mostly empty Governor's Office, as seen on June 2. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
The mostly empty Governor's Office, as seen on June 2. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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Lawsuits seeking to block Statehouse renovation tossed by NJ judge

Lawmakers sued to block Gov. Chris Christie from proceeding with renovations to the Statehouse. The cases were dismissed because bonds have already been sold.

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