Weekly Advance: Week of Sept. 17

TRENTON – The usual tempo of the Jersey Statehouse will gradually replace the end-of-summer lull the week of Sept. 17.

More than a half dozen committee hearings are scheduled during the week, starting with an Assembly Budget Committee hearing Wednesday morning.

Assembly Democrats appear poised to capitalize on an Office of Legislative Services’ report issued earlier in the month that predicts Gov. Chris Christie’s Fiscal Year 2012 revenues will be short by about $254 million. The committee invited Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff to appear alongside David Rosen, OLS’ budget and finance officer, to discuss FY 2012 revenues.

The State Treasurer’s office didn’t respond for comment when the hearing was announced, but it’s safe to assume Sidamon-Eristoff hasn’t penciled an Assembly Budget Committee hearing into his Wednesday calendar.

Democrats, who have criticized the governor for being too optimistic about state revenues, will undoubtedly use the opportunity to say that the shortfall is further evidence of how the governor’s policies have failed New Jersey.

Christie has been critical of Rosen, who he claims “can’t get it right” when it comes to revenue predictions.

The governor, who has town halls scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, can be expected to continue to criticize Democrats and Rosen, both of whom he accuses of using political maneuvers to justify withholding tax cuts.

Both messages will likely continue to be tossed by both sides at the other during the upcoming weeks.

But where political maneuvering comes so does proposed legislation.

Assembly lawmakers will also meet in Atlantic City Wednesday to hear testimony from invited guests about issues affecting tourism and art industries in the state. The Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee is also slated to hear an update on the progress of the Atlantic City Tourism District.

Senate lawmakers will be in the Statehouse Thursday for a half dozen panel hearings, including such committees as Budget and Appropriations, Labor, Transportation, and Environment and Energy.

The latter will consider a series of bills dealing with different aspects of “clean” cars.

The nearly dozen bills – most of which will be discussed only, not voted on – will touch on various aspects of the issue: charging stations, business tax credits, alternative-fueled vehicles, hybrid electric cars, and sales tax exemptions.

Also on Thursday, a Senate quorum is scheduled for noon.

Untouched legislation

Still on the governor’s desk is A575/S253, a bill that would prohibit so-called “fracking” waste from being delivered, treated or stored in the state.

The governor will need to make a decision on whether to sign the bill before the end of the month.

Christie stopped short of saying whether he’s made up his mind on the bill after he was recently asked during a town hall meeting whether he would sign off on it. Rather, the governor quickly flipped the script, telling the resident who asked the question that New Jersey politicians are quick to take up legislation that’s preemptive in nature rather than addressing problems currently facing the state.

“I’ll take a look at this bill and I’ll decide what to do with it,” Christie said during a Sept. 12 town hall meeting in Howell, before diving into examples of times when state lawmakers put hypothetical problems ahead of imminent issues.

Christie’s response to the question ultimately drew applause from the Howell crowd, but likely wasn’t the one a coalition of environmental, religious, labor and business groups were hoping to hear.

They delivered a petition to Christie’s office last month that they said carried more than 20,000 signatures in opposition to allowing fracking wastewater from being treated in the state.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

7 p.m., Atlantic Coast Shellfisheries Council, Nacote Creek Law Enforcement Office, 360 New York Road, Port Republic 

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., N.J. Commission on Brain Injury Research, 369 S. Warren St., Trenton

10 a.m., N.J. Mosquito Control Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, Natural and Historic Resources Conference Room, third floor, 501 E. State St., Plaza 5, Trenton

11 a.m., Garden State Preservation Trust, Rm. 16, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Assembly

10 a.m., Budget Committee, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

11 a.m., Tourism and the Arts Committee, Dante Hall Theater, Richard Stockton College, 14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., N.J. Fish and Game Council, Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Robbinsville

10 a.m., Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee, Central Region Office, Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Robbinsville

10 a.m., Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, Prallsville Mills, 33 Risler St., Stockton

10:30 a.m., N.J. Historical Commission, Tuckerton Seaport, Ocean County

7 p.m., Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, Tinton Falls Municipal Building, 556 Tinton Ave., Tinton Falls

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10 a.m., Environment and Energy Committee, Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Labor Committee, Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10:30 a.m., Transportation Committee, Rm. 7, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

12 p.m., Quorum, Senate chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

1 p.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m., Commerce Committee, Rm. 6, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m., Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

4 p.m., Highlands Council, 100 North Road, Chester

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission, Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 W. State St., Trenton

Daily Events

8 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, with Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, Fifth Annual Public Performance Measurement and Reporting Conference, fourth floor, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

8:30 a.m., N.J. Chamber of Commerce, Roundtable Breakfast Series, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Drive, Monroe

8:30 a.m., N.J. Association of Business and Industry, Developing Employee Handbooks and Policies, Wilshire Grand  Hotel, West Orange

9 a.m., N.J. African-American Chamber of Commerce, 2012 Business Leadership Conference, Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, Two Albany St., New Brunswick

 

Weekly Advance: Week of Sept. 17