Weekly Advance: Week of Oct. 15

TRENTON – Eyes may be on the national stage for the upcoming election over the course of the next few weeks, but there’s little to suggest things will be all quiet in Trenton.

Gov. Chris Christie will be campaigning Monday with longtime friend state Sen. Joe Kyrillos as Kyrillos seeks to tighten the race for U.S. Senate. The event is one of many campaign events Christie has planned between now and the November election – both in and out of the state – and will kick off what appears to be a busy Monday.

Both chambers will be under the Gold Dome for more than a dozen committee hearings and for Senate and Assembly quorums.

However, the most noteworthy proposal, which has grabbed headlines in recent weeks, is set to go before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Monday morning: A constitutional amendment on the state’s minimum wage.

Christie, who called the proposed constitutional amendment a “truly ridiculous” idea, vetoed a proposal that would have increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour in 2014, and would have mandated future increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Although the governor has said he’d be open to discussing a proposal to increase the minimum wage, Democrats seem poised to pursue advancing a constitutional amendment.

The minimum wage bill was debated on the floors of both chambers not too long ago. However, the attempt to add language to the state’s Constitution is likely to make future debates more animated.

And speaking of heating up, another big topic for the week could be the state’s latest revenue report.

Even before the Treasurer released the report this past week that indicated revenue for the first quarter of the fiscal year is off by $175 million, Christie shrugged off monthly revenue reports and criticized reporters for focusing too heavily on the month-to-month data.

Christie accused reporters and Democrats in the Legislature alike of “micro analyzing” the numbers. He also went on to say that residents are not buying Democrats’ half-hearted attempts at suddenly being fiscally conscience lawmakers.

However, one figure that was released late last week should have grabbed the governor’s attention, since it’s likely going to be a focal point of lawmakers looking to add fuel to the heated debate about a tax cut proposal.

The Office of Legislative Services issued a revenue snapshot that indicated Lagging revenue returns now mean state revenues need to grow by nearly 10 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to compensate for the current shortfall.

The report indicated that the state must record big gains in the coming months since Fiscal Year 2013 targets for major revenues assume 8.4 percent growth over the prior fiscal year collections.

“According to the Treasury’s September revenue report, total revenues are growing by only 1.9 percent above the same period last year,” reads OLS’ revenue snapshot. “Since first quarter growth has been well below 8.4 percent, the remaining three quarters of FY 2013 will now need to grow by about 9.6 percent to compensate.”

The need for nearly 10 percent gains over the coming months will undoubtedly be a talking point for Democrats in the coming weeks and will likely spur a sharp response from Christie during an impromptu news conference or upcoming town hall.

 

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

10:30 a.m., Diner stop with U.S. Senate candidate Sen. Joe Kyrillos, Princetonian Diner, 3509 Route 1, West Windsor

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

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

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

11 a.m., Community and Urban Affairs Committee, Rm. 1, 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

Assembly

10 a.m., Judiciary Committee, Rm. 12, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Labor Committee, Rm. 15, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Rm. 13, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Transportation, Public Works, and Independent Authorities Committee, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Women and Children Committee, Rm. 16, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1p.m., Quorum, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

2 p.m., Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Rm. 14, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

2 p.m., Environment and Solid Waste Committee, Rm. 9, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

2 p.m., Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, Rm. 12, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10:30 a.m., Public Health Council, 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

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

10:30 a.m., Joint Committee on the Public Schools, Joseph H. Brensinger School, 600 Bergen Ave., Jersey City

Boards and Commissions

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

11 a.m., Election Law Enforcement Commission, public hearing, 28 W. State St., 12th floor, Trenton

Daily Events

7:30 a.m., N.J. Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City

9 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, “Taking the Mystery out of Applying for Grants,” Crowne Plaza Monroe, 390 Forsgate Drive, Monroe

6 p.m., N.J. Business and Industry Association, Awards for Excellence Dinner, Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

8 a.m., N.J. Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City

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

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Assembly

TBA, Voting session, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

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

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

Weekly Advance: Week of Oct. 15