The long simmering border war between New Jersey and New York over congestion pricing is heating up next week with public hearings over the toll hike that could cost NJ commuters $3,000 per year.

Officially known as the "Central Business District Tolling Program," it imposes rush hour tolls to enter the most congested parts of Manhattan. The money raised, estimated at $1 billion dollars annually, would be used to float bonds for capitol improvement to New York's bus and subway system.

There has been stiff opposition from New Jersey officials. The tolls would be in addition to what is already paid at the Hudson River crossings, and could add thousands of dollars to commuter costs every year.

Supporters claim the surcharges would drive more people to use NJ Transit and give the state more resources to address our infrastructure issues.

The Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP) would lower traffic and help MTA improve its transit system. Vehicles that enter or remain in Manhattan’s Central Business District (CBD) would be tolled. Prior studies have shown that programs similar to the CBDTP can improve air quality. Investing in an improved mass transit system could help promote equity by providing expanded access to the system. - Statement from MTA

New Jersey Congressmen Jeff Van Drew and Josh Gottheimer have introduced federal legislation to withhold federal transportation funding to New York City until New Jersey residents are exempted from the congestion pricing plan. Alternately, Jersey residents would be offered a tax credit equal to any increase in commuter costs.

Virtual hearings on the tolling plan begin next week. New Jersey commuters are being given a dedicated hearing on September 24 from 10 a.m. to noon. If you want to testify, you need to preregister at https://new.mta.info/project/CBDTP or by calling (646) 252-6777.

You can also leave written comments on the MTA-NYC website or by calling (646)-252-7440.

All hearings can be viewed at: https://new.mta.info/project/CBDTP

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Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

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The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.

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