Weekly Advance: Week of March 19

TRENTON – Mark Thursday on your calendar, and no, it’s not to set aside time to watch the next round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Gov. Chris Christie’s two Supreme Court nominees – Bruce Harris and Phillip Kwon – will receive their hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Harris, the Chatham mayor who is openly gay, has been an attorney for 20 years, but Democrats early on cited his lack of courtroom experience.

Kwon, first assistant attorney general, took a hit when the Star-Ledger reported on financial circumstances of a business owned by Kwon’s mother. Those reports spurred Republicans to call on the Senate president to discipline whoever leaked confidential information.

The GOP called for prompt nomination hearings, but the Democrats were in no hurry to rush the process.

But now both men will have their day before the Legislative committee.

Back to school issues

The proposed reorganization of higher-education in New Jersey will be front and center again at two venues on the same day.

The Assembly Budget Committee will meet Monday morning at the Dental School at UMDNJ in Newark and focus primarily on education, higher education and local government issues.

Meanwhile a bit later that day, the Senate and Assembly Higher Education committees will convene a joint session at Rowan University in Glassboro to go over the proposed reorganization involving UMDNJ, Rutgers University, and other institutions.

Later in the week, the Senate Budget Committee will hold court on Wednesday at Burlington County College in Pemberton as the budget hearing process grinds its way forward.

Town hall

Gov. Christie holds court on Monday in Kearny.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, such as the recent confrontation with a former Navy SEAL at a town hall in Roebling, don’t be surprised to hear a call for the Judiciary to move the court nominations along, and possibly some comments on the recent vote in the Assembly to allow the Transportation Committee to have subpoena powers to look into activities at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Republicans questioned the Democrats’ motivation as well as the fact committee Chair John Wisniewski is also head of the state Democratic Committee.

Solar power

On Thursday, the Board of Public Utilities will hold a hearing into the problematic Solar Renewable Energy Certificates.

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposal for an extension of the program. New Jersey’s solar energy efforts have made it No. 2 in the nation in terms of installations, but prices for SRECs have fallen dramatically, raising concerns about what – if anything – the public sector should do to prop up the alternative energy sector.

Transportation

And U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will hold a press conference with some of New Jersey’s congressional delegation Monday at the Hoboken Train Station to highlight jobs they say will be created by the Surface Transportation bill.

The Senate has passed the bill but it awaits House action.  They are expected to say that the program will lead to 2.8 million jobs building or rebuilding bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

10:30 a.m., Town Hall, Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center gymnasium, 499 Belgrove Drive, Kearny

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

11 a.m., Senate and Assembly Higher Education Committees, Rowan University, Chamberlain Student Center, Eynon Ballroom, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro

Assembly

9:30 a.m., Assembly Budget Committee, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dental School, 50 Twelfth Ave., Newark

Boards and Commissions

4 p.m., Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton

7 p.m., Atlantic Coast Shellfisheries Council, Nacote Creek Law Enforcement Office, 360 New York Road, Port Republic

Daily Events

1:30 p.m., Senate Surface Transportation Bill press conference, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, and Rep. Albio Sires, Hoboken Train Station, 1 Hudson Place, Hoboken

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., State Mosquito Control Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, 501 E. State St., Trenton

10 a.m., N.J. Commission on Brain Injury Research, Department of Human Services, first-floor boardroom, Market and Warren streets, Trenton

11 a.m., Election Law Enforcement Commission, 28 W. State St., Trenton

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

9 a.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Burlington County College, Pemberton Campus gymnasium, 601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, Pemberton

Boards and Commissions

9 a.m., Delaware River Port Authority, 11th-floor boardroom, One Port Center, 2 Riverside Drive, Camden

9:30 a.m., Commission on Radiation Protection, Bureau of X-ray Compliance, 25 Arctic Parkway, Ewing

10 a.m., Sales and Use Tax Review Commission, Division of Taxation, 10th floor conference room, 50 Barrack St., Trenton

10 a.m., Tobacco Settlement Financing Corp., main conference room, Treasurer’s Office, Statehouse, Trenton

10 a.m., Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region Office, Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Robbinsville

10 a.m., Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, Prallsville Mills, 33 Risler St., Stockton

1 p.m., N.J. State Museum Board of Trustees, 205 W. State St., Trenton

7 p.m., Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, Eatontown Municipal Building, 47 Broad St., Eatontown

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, “Leaves of Absence in N.J.: A Look at the Family Medical Leave Act, the N.J. Family Leave Act, and ADA Compliance,” Robert Meyner Reception Center, Holmdel

6 p.m., Author Ira Shapiro discusses his book, “The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis,” Eagleton Institute of Politics, Wood Lawn, 191 Ryders Lane, Rutgers University.

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10 a.m., Judiciary Committee, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

9:30 a.m., Board of Public Utilities, discussion of proposal for Solar Renewable Energy Credit programs, 44 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards
and Commissions

9 a.m., Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism, Basic and Clinical Autism Research Grantees, National Conference Center, Holiday Inn, East Windsor

Weekly Advance: Week of March 19