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New Jersey is 13th-most expensive state to raise a child. Just how much does it cost?

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New Jersey is 13th-most expensive state to raise a child. Just how much does it cost?


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We all know kids are expensive. But just how expensive?

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The annual cost to raise a child in New Jersey is $26,870, according to a new SmartAsset study. That includes $13,674 for childcare, $4,054 in additional housing and $2,068 for food. The total cost also includes medical care, transportation and other necessities.

SmartAsset, a financial service, compiled costs assuming two working parents and one child for its study of the cost of raising children across the United States. It used the MIT Living Wage Calculator data to compare the costs of a household with two working adults and one child with a childless household with two working adults.

The company found the median cost was $22,850, but some states cost twice as much as others.

🏖️ Looking for family fun this summer at the Shore? Here are some ideas

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The most expensive state was Massachusetts, with an annual cost of $35,841, while the least expensive was Mississippi, whose annual cost was $16,151.

New Jersey came in as the 13th-most expensive in America.

Top 10 Most Expensive States to Raise a Child

  1. Massachusetts: $35,841
  2. Hawaii: $35,049
  3. Connecticut: $32,803
  4. Colorado: $30,425
  5. New York: $30,247
  6. California: $29,468
  7. New Hampshire: $27,849
  8. Washington: $27,806
  9. Rhode Island: $27,630
  10. Minnesota: $27,406



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New Jersey

Plumbers and Pipefitters local ousts Mike Maloney by 2-1 margin – New Jersey Globe

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Plumbers and Pipefitters local ousts Mike Maloney by 2-1 margin – New Jersey Globe


In a major upset that is enormously consequential to New Jersey labor unions, longtime Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 9 business manager Michael Maloney lost his bid for re-election to Mike Tranberg by a big margin.

Tranberg beat Maloney, 473-226, a 68%-32% margin.

That means Maloney will lose his posts as president of the New Jersey State Association of Pipe Trades and vice president of the New Jersey State Building & Construction Trades Council.

Maloney’s defeat appears to have resulted from rank-and-file pipefitters’ opposition to the state’s energy policy. These pipefitters supported the now-defunct PennEast gas pipeline project, which was essentially killed by elected officials who had received political and financial support from Maloney.

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Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) had endorsed Tranberg, a Monmouth County resident.

Now the Plumbers and Pipefitters are up for grabs by candidates from both parties seeking to succeed term-limited Gov. Phil Murphy in 2025.

PennEast canceled the controversial $1 billion, 116-mile natural gas pipeline program in September 2021 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that they could use eminent domain to take state-owned land.

The 64-year-old Maloney was elected to his first Local 9 post in 1985, became a business agent in 1994, and won his first election as business manager.  He currently serves as president of the Mercer County Central Labor Council, backing Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) in his successful bid for county executive against five-term Democrat Brian Hughes.

This weekend’s election follows a trend in other states where members of building trades locals are tossing longtime leaders who appear to be backing candidates for public office, including the Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump presidential race, who are not consistent with the views of the rank-and-file membership.

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Malinowski wins Hunterdon Democratic chairman race in landslide – New Jersey Globe

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Malinowski wins Hunterdon Democratic chairman race in landslide – New Jersey Globe


Nearly twenty months after losing his seat in Congress, Tom Malinowski has returned to office as the new Hunterdon County Democratic chairman.

Malinowski defeated Karen Becker, a state committeewoman, by a more than 2-1 margin to secure the party leadership post in his home county.

The former two-term congressman and Assistant U.S. Secretary of State succeeds Arlene Quinones Perez, who did not seek re-election after eleven years as county chair.

Malinowski takes on the leadership of a small Democratic organization in a solidly red county where Republicans hold every county office and enjoy a voter registration edge of 12,391; 50.1%-28.5%.  Democrats have not won a freeholder/county commissioner race in Hunterdon since 1979.

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Donald Trump won Hunterdon County by four points in 2020, and Republican Jack Ciattarelli outpolled Gov. Phil Murphy there by nearly nineteen points in 2021.

If county organization lines are indeed replaced by office block voting for good, Malinowski assumes a party post of diminished power and faces the challenge of guiding Hunterdon Democrats into a rebuilding phase.

But first, Malinowski faces a more immediate and achievable task: perhaps helping Biden carry Hunterdon and boosting the total number of votes Democrat Sue Altman receives in New Jersey’s 7th district, his old seat and one of the most politically competitive House races in the U.S.

Malinowski toyed with a rematch against the Republican who narrowly unseated him in 2022, Rep. Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), and considered a primary challenge against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  He endorsed Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in advance of a Hunterdon Democratic convention win against the First Lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy.

For a short time last year, even before Bob Menendez’ was indicted on federal corruption charges, Malinowski considered challenging Menendez in the Democratic U.S.  Senate primary

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Malinowski was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, unseating five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) by 16,299 votes, 52%-47%, in Trump’s mid-term Democratic wave.  He beat Kean by one percentage point in 2020 and then lost a rematch two years ago by 8,691 votes, 51%-49%.  Malinowski lost Hunterdon three times, getting 44.3% of the county’s vote in 2018, 44.2% in 2020, and 45.8% in 2022.

Perez refused a bid by Malinowski’s team to cast one single vote for a slate of candidates.

Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach is running for vice chair with Malinowski; she had been considered a possible candidate to succeed Perez.   Now she faces a separate vote, with Becker being nominated to run against her.

Also on the Malinowski ticket: Michele Liebtag, the political director of CWA Local 1036, for secretary; and Michael Drulis, the New Brunswick city administrator and the husband of Assemblywoman Mitchelle Drulis (D-Raritan), for treasurer.

The last former congressman to run for county chairman was Kean’s grandfather, Robert W. Kean (R-Livingston).  Robert Kean had spent twenty years in the House and lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 1958.  He became Essex County GOP Chairman in 1959 at a time when Essex was a swing county.

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With Kean as county chairman, Republicans won seven of twelve Essex seats in the State Assembly, re-elected their sheriff, Neil Duffy, flipped the county surrogate post, and won three freeholder seats.   But State Sen. Donal Fox (D-South Orange) was re-elected to a second term against a strong Republican candidate, Alfred Clapp (R-Montclair), a former state senator and county court judge.  In 1960, with John F. Kennedy carrying Essex County by 50,000 votes, Democrats won three freeholder seats and the county clerk’s office.

In March, Malinowski wrote an Op-Ed for the New Jersey Globe outlining his views on the future of the Democratic Party in New Jersey.



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The one spot in New Jersey where you can ignore the speed limit

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The one spot in New Jersey where you can ignore the speed limit


Generally speaking, speed limit signs are pretty straightforward, right?

I mean, if the sign says “speed limit 65,” you should stay at or under 65 MPH.

But that’s not always the case, especially in a rather rural area of our fine state.

And, no, this is not a story about how everyone ignores the speed limit on the Turnpike and Parkway.

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Speed Limit 65 Road Sign on the GSP

Google Maps

Life in Salem County, NJ

I’ve long been amazed and intrigued by Salem County. If you’ve never done a deep dive into this part of the state, it’s kinda like you’re in Kansas or Nebraska.

Actually, scratch the word “kinda” — it is like being in the middle of the Great Plains.

In other words, take every single stereotype you have about New Jersey and get rid of it.

There are no giant cities out here like Trenton or Newark. Sure, there are thousands of people in Salem and Carney’s Point, but just a few minutes away, this is where we put the “garden” in Garden State.

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Let me put it this way: if you ever want to see an area of New Jersey with no Wawas, no Walmarts, and no strip malls, this is it.

You know how your town has 18 places to get pizza? Good luck with that down here.

Route 40 in Salem County NJ – Photo: Google Maps

Route 40 in Salem County NJ – Photo: Google Maps

This is where you can literally stand in the middle of a road during rush hour and never see a vehicle.

Chris Coleman / Google Maps

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Chris Coleman / Google Maps

Bizarre Speed Limit Sign in New Jersey

Speaking of highways, while recently exploring lower Salem County, I was on some little backcountry road and I saw this rather unusual speed limit sign…

Suggested speed limit sign in Salem County NJ

Suggested speed limit sign in Salem County NJ – Photo: Chris Coleman

Suggested? What does that mean?

Yes, I know what the word means, but I’ve never seen a suggested speed limit sign in New Jersey before.

Is this someone’s way of wanting you to slow down because there are kids in the area? Truth be told, I was in the middle of nowhere and I never saw any humans at all, let alone kids running around.

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And can you get a ticket for going over 35 MPH here? It, technically, isn’t saying you have to go 35, it’s just suggesting it. Maybe you can suggest to the police officer that pulls you over to not write you a ticket. I’m sure that’ll end well for you.

I’ve never seen a suggested speed limit sign in New Jersey before. If you have, please let me know.

Meanwhile, if you like really cool old things, this century-old bridge in Salem County is really amazing…

Cool bridge in rural Salem County; Built in 1905, closed since 1991

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman





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