This week in the General Assembly

The Assembly Budget Committee will meet on Wednesday to take testimony on Gov. Christopher Christie’s proposed spending cuts announced last week to meet the challenge of an estimated $2 billion shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) has scheduled a quorum call for Thursday at 1PM.

Acting state Education Commissioner Bret Schundler will address the Assembly Education Committee at 2 PM to discuss his priorities for the year.  Schundler’s appearance before the panel comes before his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.  The panel will also consider A-355, which establishes a permanent Interdistrict Public School Choice Program; A-415, which provides an additional month for the completion of a school district’s annual audit; A-1894, requiring certain conditions be met in order for school districts to provide their employees with tuition assistance for coursework or additional compensation upon acquisition of academic credits or completion of a degree program; and A-2260, which lengthens service life of certain school buses to 15 years.

The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee will meet at 10 AM to hear public testimony on the potential impact of the Governor’s proposal to cut the State’s subsidy to NJ TRANSIT and any fare increases or service reductions that may result.  The committee is chaired by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), the Democratic State Chairman.

The Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will meet at 2 PM to hear testimony from invited speakers concerning the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee will meet at 3PM to consider five bills: A-602, which authorizes any municipality outside Highlands Region to establish receiving zones for Highlands transfer of development rights program; A-1847, appropriates $17.45 million in 1992 and 2003 bond act monies for loans to fund dam restoration projects; A-2232, dedicating up to $150,000 annually of fees collected at Island Beach State Park to special fund to be used to support certain park programs, and makes an appropriation from the fund; A-2070, extending requirements of wastewater management planning agencies to establish or update wastewater management plans, and extends validity of sewer service areas and wastewater service areas, until April 7, 2011; and ACR-106, which urges the governor to call for public and private participation in Earth Hour 2010.

The Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee will meet at 2 PM to hear testimony from Laura Zink Marx, Executive Director of NJ-211, to discuss the organization’s responsibilities as a public safety information provider.  The panel will also consider A-1586, which prohibits access to police vehicle global positioning system; and A-1589, which requires sports and entertainment facilities to submit evacuation plan with municipal emergency management coordinator.

The Assembly Human Services Committee will meet at 2PM to hear testimony from invited speakers concerning the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund.  The committee will also consider A-1748, expands membership of Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board; A-2038, which establishes registry of offenders of individuals with developmental disabilities in DHS.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will meet at 10 AM to hear testimony from invited guests to discuss the implications of the recent United States Supreme Court opinion, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, on New Jersey’s pay to play laws. The panel will also consider three bills: A-1893, extending the time period for renewal of lapsed alcoholic beverage retail licenses; A-2073, which clarifies authority of “Blue Ribbon Panel for Review of Long-Term Prisoners’ Parole Eligibility” to review only cases of parole eligible inmates’ and A-2296, which modifies requirement for advice of counsel in certain “palimony” agreements.

 

Major Gen. Glenn Rieth, the Adjutant General of the state Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, will update the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the Department’s current initiatives at 10AM.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) will testify on the 2010 Census before the Assembly State Government Committee at 2 PM, along with a representative of the U.S. Census Bureau, and Leonard Preston of the NJ State Data Center.

The Joint State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee will meet at 2:30.

This week in the General Assembly