TRENTON – There is an abundance of work going on this week, as the holidays quickly approach. So whoop-de-do and hickory dock, and don’t forget Tuesday at 6 o’clock, the Delaware Bay Shellfisheries Council will be coming down the chimney down. (Sorry, there’s no escaping the ubiquitous carols, even here.)
On Monday, the Assembly is conducting its first voting session since Wednesday, June 29. That’s a stretch of 159 days without convening for a full voting session. In comparison, the Senate, which also met on that day, has met four times since.
Among the bills in session are the Democratic ‘jobs’ bills that were vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie in the spring. The bills are employment training and job creation measures that cost the state millions, which is why Christie vetoed them. The governor asked the Dems to provide a dedicated revenue stream for the programs, which they decided not to do on re-introduction of the measures. The definition of insanity, and so forth.
Another bill allows syringes to be distributed without a prescription in an attempt to combat spread of disease and needle-sharing. Detractors said this could open the doors for drug addicts and those with contagious diseases obtaining the needles and syringes and – without any oversight or instruction provided in the bill – disposing of the equipment improperly and creating a community health hazard. The bill was passed by the Senate in February, 28-12, with mostly GOP opposition.
Elsewhere, the Senate is holding seven committee hearings on Thursday. One of the measures is S3118, which restores $139 million in Transitional Aid to distressed cities plus $1.5 million for oversight. Christie didn’t want the oversight tacked on top, but sounded open to the restoration when asked about it last week.
For Christie, it’s been cabinet shake-up season. Last week, news leaked about the scandalous resignation of Adjutant General Glenn Rieth, commander of the N.J. National Guard, before Christie could make his own announcement on Friday afternoon.
Friday afternoon press conferences are the equivalent of “taking out the trash,” which tells you how excited Christie was to go public with the development.
Another question awaiting Christie in the press: what did the Port Authority and the administration know about the toll hike – insofar as the hike was said to be funding the World Trade Center project, which PA court statements now contradict – when Christie commented on it previously.
In fact, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in their joint letter after an inquiry into the initial toll hike proposal that the increased revenue would allow the World Trade Center, specifically, to be completed. Now that the Port Authority has disclaimed that reasoning, the question for Christie is: Who misled who?
Tuesday morning, Christie descends on Hudson County with a town hall event in West New York. For the bluest of blue counties, Christie has made considerable inroads in Hudson, and this is a plum appearance for new WNY Mayor Felix Roque, a Democratic Party outsider who won a surprising challenge to former Mayor and Assemblyman Sal Vega earlier in 2011. Christie appeared at Roque’s swearing-in and certainly will try to maintain the budding relationship, which combined with allies Brian Stack, senator and mayor of Union City, and Dawn Zimmer, mayor of Hoboken, creates a nice Christie-base in U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’ backyard.
Assembly voting session, 1 p.m., Statehouse, Trenton
Water Supply Authority, 2 p.m., WSA Building, 1851 Route 31, Clinton
Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, 4:30 p.m., Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton
Gov. Chris Christie town hall, 10:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s High School, West New York.
Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, 9 a.m., 39 Broadway, fourth floor, New York
Real Estate Commission, 9:30 a.m., Roebling Building, second floor, 20 W. State St., Trenton
Economic Development Authority, 10 a.m., 36 W. State St., Trenton
State Capitol Joint Management Commission, 10 a.m., Rm. L103, Statehouse, Trenton
Delaware Bay Shellfisheries Council, 6 p.m., Haskin Shellfish Research Lab, 6959 Miller Ave., Port Norris
Delaware River Port Authority, 9 a.m., One Port Center, Camden
Schools Development Authority, 9 a.m., 1 W. State St., Trenton
Civil Service Commission, 10 a.m., CSC Boardroom, first floor, 3 Station Plaza, 44 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton
Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, 10 a.m., Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Labor Committee, 10 a.m., Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Transportation Committee, 11 a.m., Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, 1 p.m., Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Commerce Committee, 1 p.m., Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, 1 p.m., Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, 1 p.m., Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton
Boards and Commissions
Environmental Infrastructure Trust, 10 a.m., 3131 Princeton Pike, Office Building 6, Suite 201, Lawrence
Delaware River Basin Commission, 10:30 a.m., West Trenton Fire Co., 40 W. Upper Ferry Road, West Trenton
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 1 p.m., 225 Park Avenue South, 15th floor, New York
Pinelands Commission, 9:30 a.m., Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education, 15C Springfield Road, New Lisbon
Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission, 10 a.m., first-floor boardroom, Division of Pension and Benefits, 50 W. State St., Trenton
Best Practices in Electronic Records Management, 9 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, Robert Meyner Reception Center, Holmdel