Weekly Advance: Week of May 20

TRENTON – The fiscal year 2014 budget talk is about to get serious.

On Monday, with six weeks to go in the fiscal year, updated revenue figures will be presented to the Senate Budget Committee by the Office of Legislative Services and the Treasurer.

Then on Tuesday, the Assembly Budget Committee will hear the same presentations.

Expect the administration to highlight the good news that was released this past week: Strong income tax collections in April as well as a jobless rate that fell to 8.7 percent, numbers that the Executive branch of government will say are intertwined.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature will try to stick a pin in that balloon if it can.  OLS, for instance, forecast that the income tax revenue – very good in April – will decline as FY 13 comes to a close.

Politics also has insinuated itself into next week’s committee hearings. 

Senate President Steve Sweeney pulled GOP-sponsored bills from several agendas in what sources said was payback for Minority Leader Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. not providing procedurally related floor votes at a recent Senate voting session on one of Sweeney’s gun-control bills.

Speaking of gun bills, the Assembly has a full voting session on Monday that will include several firearms bills.

Bills that would require mental health records to be submitted to the instant criminal background check system and mandating firearms data be reported to jurisdictional databases are among proposals that would go to the governor’s desk if approved.

In addition, on the Assembly agenda are some other key bills.

*The N.J. Economic Opportunity Act, which does away with three incentive programs for businesses and expands two others – the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant program – and is designed to help close financing gaps and accelerate infrastructure projects.

*The bill that was conditionally vetoed that would have barred employers from requiring computer user names and other information by employees. The Assembly will put the governor’s recommendations to the vote. Gov. Chris Christie said the bill as written was too broad, and more of a balance needs to be struck between an employee’s privacy rights and the ability of an employer to conduct a proper interview of a job applicant.

*Another CV’d bill, this one dealing with anonymity of Lottery winners, also will be up for concurrence with the veto recommendations. Christie said the bill would undermine transparency and public confidence in Lottery operations’ integrity. Christie suggested the Treasurer undertake a review of laws and rules affecting winners’ anonymity.

In addition to guns and the budget, Senate committees next week will convene and consider a wide variety of issues

*The controversy over non-profit hospitals converting to for-profit will be dealt with during a joint hearing of the Legislative Oversight and Health panels;

*Menhaden, a fish whose catch levels are a matter of interest nowadays, will be dealt with in the Environment Commtitee;

*A measure mandating that towns come up with growth plans if they want Urban Enterprise Zone funds will be in the Urban Affairs Committee;

*And more firearms bills will be before a Law and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

 

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10 a.m., Environment and Energy Committee, Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10:30 a.m., Transportation Committee, Rm. 7, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

11 a.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Office of Legislative Services, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

11 a.m., Community and Urban Affairs Committee, Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

11 a.m., Labor Committee, Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Treasury, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m.,  Commerce Committee, Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m.,  Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens, and Legislative Oversight Committees, Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Assembly

1 p.m., Voting session, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10:30 a.m., Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, Director’s room, executive offices, 2492 River Road, New Hope, Pa.

7 p.m., Atlantic Coast Section of Shell Fisheries Council, Nacote Creek Law Enforcement Office, 360 New York Road, Port Republic

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

1 p.m., Law and Public Safety Committee, Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Assembly

10 a.m., Budget Committee, Office of Legislative Services, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

2 p.m., Budget Committee, Treasury, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., State Capitol Joint Management Commission, Rm. L103, Statehouse, Trenton

10 a.m., N.J. Mosquito Control Commission, Conservation Center, Department of Environmental Protection, Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, One Eldridge Road, Robbinsville

11 a.m., Election Law Enforcement Commission, 12th floor, 28 W. State St., Trenton

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. Business and Industry Association, N.J. Economic Policy Summit/C-Suite Survey, Edward Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., Tidelands Resource Council, workshop meeting with Bureau of Tidelands Management, Battleship New Jersey, 62 Battleship Place, Camden

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., N.J. Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, Building 4, Station Plaza, South Clinton Avenue, Trenton

1 p.m., Board of Public Utilities, first-floor hearing room, Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton

4:30 p.m., N.J. Law Revision Commission, Commission offices, seventh floor, 153 Halsey St., Newark

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. Chamber of Commerce, Breakfast Roundtable with Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski, Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Drive, Monroe

 

 

Weekly Advance: Week of May 20