Following two Supreme Court rulings on abortion access and domestic abusers’ ability to own guns, Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) will pursue an override of two conditional vetoes from Governor Chris Christie. Weinberg told PolitickerNJ that she hopes the high-profile rulings will draw attention to those issues in Trenton.
The first will attempt to reinstate more than $7 million in funding for women’s health centers that Christie removed from the budget early in his administration, while the second will try to tighten state regulations that prevent convicted domestic abusers from obtaining a firearm.
That bill would require law enforcement to determine whether someone is a gun owner before issuing a restraining order, and require the issuing agency to search for domestic violence conviction when handing out gun permits.
“It merely sets up a process for what is already illegal in New Jersey, and that is guns in the hands of domestic violence abusers,” Weinberg said.
A previous override attempt fell five votes short in December. Though state Democrats have never successfully overridden the governor, the Senate successfully moved to override Christie’s veto of a bill to to require that police be notified when a would-be gun buyer requests that their record of commitment to a psychiatric hospital be expunged.
Though that override attempt came up three votes short in the Assembly, the Senate voted to reconsider the line item for women’s health centers with one more vote than Democrats would need to override in that house.
“We’ve done it in the past. We’ll do it again,” Weinberg said, calling Christie’s 2010 decision to withdraw the funding politically motivated. “Once he hit the national stage, well, he didn’t wipe this out for budgetary reasons. He wiped it out because he doesn’t believe in Planned Parenthood.
“Getting rid of six family planning centers does resemble, a little bit, what they did in Texas,” Weinberg added of the half dozen centers that have closed since losing funding. “So I’m hoping that we will get an override.”