Weekly Advance: Week of July 9

TRENTON – It’s over as quickly as a Fourth of July fireworks display in San Diego.

After Gov. Chris Christie took a pen to the Democrats’ budget, signed off and then did a tour on the national media outlet stage, the halls of the Jersey Statehouse cleared out quicker than that West Coast city’s 15-second fireworks malfunction.

Sure, Christie will kick the week off in Washington, D.C., to deliver remarks – and take questions – at The Brookings Institution, but all-in-all, expect a moment to relax.

That is, with possibly one exception: Revenue numbers.

The state Department of Treasury could release June revenue figures on July 13.

Any positive news would certainly warrant an impromptu appearance by the governor. And on the other hand, less than stellar numbers would almost certainly activate a flurry of responses from Democrat lawmakers who vowed not to make a final decision on tax relief until the revenues are there come January.

The latter has been somewhat of an explosive issue with Christie, needless to say, who vowed to take his fight against the Democrats’ plan to the people of the state.

So expect a lull, but prepare for a volley of news releases and press conferences.

Judicial pensions

Next on the docket could be a state Supreme Court ruling on judicial pensions.

The fight over judges’ increased pension contributions versus the constitutional protection against judicial salary cuts was argued in the state’s high court in March. Although there’s no way to guarantee when a ruling will be handed down, officials have recently indicated they expect to hear a decision from the Supreme Court in the near future.

The lawsuit, filed by Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale of Hudson County, challenges New Jersey’s landmark pension and benefit contribution reform.

DePascale argues the state’s constitution gives judges’ salary specific protections under the law to protect that government branch’s independence.

The state has argued increased pension contributions do not mean diminished salaries.

And while the Supreme Court is slated to make a ruling on the case sometime in the near future, progress was made last month by the Legislature to propose a constitutional amendment that could settle the issue.

Senate President Steve Sweeney’s resolution, SCR110, would clarify the Legislature’s authority to pass laws taking contributions from justices’ and certain judges’ salaries for employee benefits.

The resolution moved out of committee with bipartisan support.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

10 a.m., Brookings Institution Remarks and Discussion, Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards & Commissions

10:30 a.m., Public Health Council Board, Department of Health, 369 S. Warren St., Trenton

4 p.m., Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board, Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton

Daily Events

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use by New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults, public hearing, Daytop N.J., preparatory school gymnasium, 80 W. Main St., Mendham

6 p.m., Department of Environmental Protection, Radiological Emergency Response Plan hearing, Woodland Country Day School, 1216 Roadstown Road, Stow Creek Township

Daily Events

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

9 a.m., Local Finance Board, Department of Community Affairs, 101 S. Broad St., Trenton

9:30 a.m., N.J. Clean Air Council, seventh-floor conference room, Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton

11 a.m., Delaware River Basin Commission, conference, commission offices, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton

1:30 p.m., Delaware River Basin Commission, business meeting, commission offices, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards & Commissions

10 a.m., Economic Development Authority, EDA headquarters, 36 W. State St., Trenton

10 a.m., Environmental Infrastructure Trust, conference room, 3131 Princeton Pike, building 6, suite 201, Lawrence

3 p.m., Health Information Technology Commission, Department of Health, 369 S. Warren St., Trenton

Daily Events

9 a.m., Year Four of Economic Recovery: New Municipal Realities to Come, N.J. League of Municipalities, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Weekly Advance: Week of July 9