Weekly Advance: Week of July 30

TRENTON – New Jersey lawmakers will be on the Senate and Assembly floors Monday for a vote, but don’t expect them to linger under the golden dome for long.

The week’s session is largely focused on taking up a proposed constitutional amendment that aims to give New Jersey the final say in whether judicial pensions are excluded from Gov. Chris Christie’s and the Legislature’s landmark pension and benefit reform.

The proposal, SCR110, clarifies the Legislature’s authority to pass laws regarding taking contributions from justices’ and certain judges’ salaries for employee benefits. The proposal is sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Shirley Turner, (D-15), Trenton, who are among the long list of lawmakers on both side of the aisle who blasted the Supreme Court’s recent decision that ruled sitting judges were exempt from the benefit changes.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has also been vocal in her dissatisfaction with the high court’s recent decision.

The court’s spilt ruling said the governor and state Legislature overreached when they passed the landmark reform with respect to judges.

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that said the state Constitution protects judges from having their salaries tampered with by the Legislature. However, the latter branch of government, along with the state’s executive, contends they weren’t targeting judges in their landmark overhaul; hence, the statute cited does not apply.

Additionally, the governor and Legislature have argued – and will continue to argue – that salary and compensation are two different things.

The proposed constitutional amendment needs a three-fifths majority vote – 24 in the Senate and 48 in the Assembly – before it can appear on the November ballot.

All signs indicate a healthy majority of lawmakers will push the proposal through and Christie vowed during one of his recent beach town halls to campaign on the issue in the fall.

The gov

Gov. Christie will be in New Jersey early in the week but is slated to travel out of state beginning Wednesday.

Christie will join four other Republican governors for a speaking engagement at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo.

New Jersey’s executive will take part in “A Conversation with Republican Governors,” moderated by author Walter Isaacson, along with Govs. Nikki Haley, South Carolina; Bobby Jindal, Louisiana; Bob McDonnell, Virginia; and Scott Walker, Wisconsin.

The governors will be in Aspen as part of the Republican Governors Association’s annual meeting.

Sales and Use Tax Review Commission

And while bills and legislation usually aren’t the talk of the town during this time of the summer, the Sales and Use Tax Review Commission is slated to take up a noteworthy piece of legislation or two.

The commission will review S2017, which would authorize the creation of an Urban Enterprise Zone in the city of Linden in Union County.

If ultimately approved in the Legislature, the bill would entitle certain Linden retail businesses to a 50 percent sales tax reduction. Linden would be the 33rd Urban Enterprise Zone in the state.

The commission is also scheduled to discussion legislation, A3146, that would provide a 50 percent sales tax exemption for “one-of-a-kind” art.

The legislation intends to encourage the state’s artists to market themselves to New Jersey tourists, according to its sponsor, Assemblyman Christopher Brown, (R-2), Northfield.

The commission meets Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10:30 a.m., Voting session, Senate chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Assembly

11 a.m., Voting session, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10:30 a.m., Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, director’s room, headquarters and administration building, 2492 River Road, New Hope, Pa.

10:30 a.m., Public Health Council, eighth-floor conference room, Department of Health and Senior Services, 369 S. Warren St., Trenton

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

9:30 a.m., N.J. Turnpike Commission, executive boardroom, administration offices, 581 Main St., Woodbridge

10 a.m., Garden State Preservation Trust, second floor, 135 W. Hanover St., Trenton

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

9 a.m., Schools Development Authority, boardroom, 1 W. State St., Trenton

9 a.m., State Board of Education, first-floor conference room, River View Executive Plaza, Building 100, Route 29, Trenton

10 a.m., Tidelands Resource Council, Civil Service Commission, multipurpose conference room, 44 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton

10 a.m., Sales and Use Tax Review Commission, conference call only, 888-285-4585, Participant Code: 559623  

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

7 p.m., Environmental Protection Agency, public meeting on plan for White Chemical Corp. Superfund site in Newark, City Hall Council chambers, 920 Broad St., Newark

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. Chamber of Commerce, networking breakfast, Kingley Health, 220 Centennial Ave., Piscataway

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled 

Weekly Advance: Week of July 30