Weekly Advance: Week of Oct. 8

TRENTON – With a holiday weekend and little in the way of a flurry of committee hearings, the Statehouse is set to be relatively quiet during the week.

Gov. Chris Christie is expected to spend time in state on the road, but will also likely travel outside of the Garden State more often than not in the weeks leading up to the upcoming election.

Christie told reporters during a health care news conference last week that he turns down “many more requests” for his campaign support than he expects “because there’s just not enough hours in the day – both in state and out of state.” The governor cited receiving more than 200 out-of-state requests in the past 35 days.

Meanwhile, Senate lawmakers will gather under the Golden Dome Thursday for a round of committee hearings where a few noteworthy bills are on the agenda:

Mobile gaming continued

In August, the governor signed a mobile gaming bill into law that will enable players to post bets without having to be in the gaming parlor.

Now, Senate lawmakers are preparing to take up legislation that would afford similar capabilities to racetrack gamblers.

S2236 would permit the use of mobile gaming devices within the property boundaries of an approved racetrack facility, including any restaurant, simulcasting room, and outdoor area, according to the bill.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Bob Gordon, (D-38), was approved by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee in May and goes before the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on Thursday.

Law and public safety

Two state senators are hoping to beef up some of the state’s anti-drug statutes by broadening the scope of the law and increasing penalties for distribution of certain drugs.

S1783, sponsored by Sen. Shirley Turner, (D-15), seeks to make certain types of “synthetic marijuana” illegal in the state.

The bill would prohibit the sale, possession and manufacturing of synthetic marijuana by adding it to the state’s list of controlled substances.

“Synthetic marijuana, marketed under such other names as ‘Spice,’ ‘K2,’  ‘Blaze’ and ‘Red Dawn X’ are manmade substances designed to mimic the effects of marijuana,” reads the bill. The so-called “designer drugs” are sometimes sold in tobacco and smoke shops and often labeled as incense or potpourri.

The bill would add 10 classes of chemicals that fall under the umbrella of synthetic cannabinoids to the list of prohibited schedule I drugs.

S2204, the Drug Dealer Accountability Act, sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, (D-5), would increase penalties for people who distribute phencyclidine, or “PCP.”

It would make manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing five grams or more of PCP a first-degree crime.

Tardy lawmakers

Finally, Sen. Tom Kean Jr., (R-21), is once again proposing legislation that would reduce the period of time lawmakers may be absent without excuse from Statehouse duties.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Daily Events

10:30 a.m., Building Our Future Coalition Campaign Kickoff, urging public support of higher education capital investment, Rutgers University, Brower Commons, 145 College Ave., New Brunswick, including former Gov. Tom Kean, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Speaker Sheila Oliver, and more

 

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. Noise Control Council, Rutgers University, Labor Education Building, Operator Training Center, Rm. 101, Cook College Campus, New Brunswick

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

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

10 a.m., N.J. Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, Building 4, fourth floor, Station Plaza, South Clinton Avenue, Trenton

1 p.m., Farmland Preservation Milestone announcement, Cassaday Farms, 82 Dilks Road, Monroeville, featuring Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher, state and local lawmakers

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. Chamber of Commerce, Breakfast Roundtable with Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd, Forsgate Country Club, Monroe

9 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, New Jersey Pensions Eligibility and the Common Misconceptions, Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center, Holmdel

 

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 a.m., N.J. Transit, board room, headquarters building, One Penn Plaza East, Newark

9:30 a.m., N.J. Clean Air Council, N.J. Business and Industry Association, 102 W. State St., Trenton

Daily Events

8:30 a.m., N.J. Business and Industry Association, Business Assistance and Financing, Forsgate Country Club, Monroe

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10:30 a.m., Law and Public Safety Committee, Rm. 10, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

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

1 p.m., Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Rm. 1, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

1 p.m., State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, Rm. 7, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Assembly

TBA, Quorum, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., N.J. Environmental Infrastructure Trust, Trust main conference room, 3131 Princeton Pike, Office Building 6, Suite 201, Lawrence

10 a.m., N.J. Educational Opportunity Fund Board, conference call, Mary Roebling Building, 20 W. State St., fourth floor, Rm. 432, Trenton

 

Friday

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. Pinelands Commission, Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education, 15C Springfield Road, New Lisbon

Boards and Commissions

9 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, “Ethics, Conflicts of Interest and the Open Public Records Act,” Crowne Plaza Englewood, 401 S. Van Brunt St., Englewood

Weekly Advance: Week of Oct. 8