Christie releases two vetoes and signed bill

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation codifying income eligibility levels for the AIDS Drug Distribution Program.

He also conditionally vetoed bills concerning pet sterilization and the use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms in New Jersey.

Christie conditionally vetoed S2923, a bill oft ridiculed by the governor, “citing the need to maintain a seven day hold period before dogs and cats received by animal shelters can be offered for adoption, transferred, or euthanized in New Jersey.

“Under existing law, any animal captured by an animal control officer must be held for seven days before it can be offered for adoption, transferred to a more suitable shelter, or euthanized,” he said in a statement. “(The bill) would change this standard, and permit these animals to be transferred or euthanized before seven days if the shelter determines that the age, health, or behavior of the animal warrants such action. Unfortunately, this exception would create the potential that older or mildly injured animals could be euthanized immediately, and before a diligent search by an owner could locate a lost pet.”

On S2197, which provides for the use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (“POLST”) forms in New Jersey, Christie’s conditional veto cited “concerns with the provisions of the bill that would effectively allow a patient’s wishes to be overridden by the patient’s physician or healthcare representative without the patient’s prior consent, and that would mandate an alternative dispute resolution as a prerequisite to a patient’s or his or her representative’s right to go to court to protect a patient’s wishes.”

He signed S2214, a supplement to the FY11 Appropriation Act, codifying income eligibility levels to 500 percent of the federal poverty level for the AIDS Drug Distribution Program (ADDP), retroactive to July 1, 2010. Christie made permanent actions taken by the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide a safety net for New Jerseyans living with HIV/AIDS during Fiscal Year 2011.

Christie releases two vetoes and signed bill