State Senator Martha Bark is expected to resign her seat on Monday so she can qualify for benefits on January 1. If Bark, who did not seek re-election this year, were to wait until her term expires on January 8, she would not begin receiving benefits until February 1.
Bark’s eighth district seat will remain vacant for the final week of her term – a time when several key issues will be posted for votes during the lame duck session of the Senate. New Jersey law permits Special Election Conventions between 7 and 35 days of the vacancy – so Bark’s term will expire before Burlington County Republicans could legally meet to fill her seat.
Republican Philip Haines will take his Senate seat on January 8. Haines defeated Republican-turned-Democrat Assemblyman Francis Bodine in November. He is expected to resign as Burlington County Clerk, which means Democratic Governor Jon Corzine will need to name an Acting County Clerk, with the advise and consent of the State Senate.