Weekly Advance: Week of Nov. 12

TRENTON – Two weeks will have passed since Superstorm Sandy slammed the New Jersey coast.

Gov. Chris Christie spent the days leading up to and after the national election within the Garden State. He toured devastated areas and gave daily news briefings on updates ranging from power outages to the status of clean drinking water.

With many in the region still without power and working to recover from the storm, the governor can be expected to continue with his regular schedule of jumping day-to-day from one storm-devastated area to another.

Christie told reporters during the first week of November that he would like to travel to the Republican Governors Association, but added he hadn’t given it much thought and more signs than not indicate the governor will remain in the Garden State.

However, parts of the state are slowly beginning to return to a place of “normalcy” and that includes the New Jersey Statehouse.

Senate lawmakers will be under the Golden Dome Thursday for  a handful of committee meetings.

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee appears to be the first chance legislators will have to take up action in response to the storm.

Lawmakers are poised vote on SR85, which would urge the state’s financial institutions to make financial assistance available to residents and local governments hurt by the storm. The proposal will be discussed in the committee pending referral and introduction.

The proposed resolution is likely the first of a handful of proposals that will hit the floors of the Senate and Assembly in response to the storm in the coming weeks and months, including an Assembly bill that would require certain “vital facilities serving the public” to have back-up generators.

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce’s (R-26) bill would require gas stations, nursing homes and other critical care facilities to have generator backup power. The proposed “N.J. Residents Power Protection Act” had yet to be introduced, but the lawmaker announced last week she was seeking bipartisan support for her proposal.

“We cannot allow our frail elderly in nursing homes to be at the mercy of high winds and rains that topple trees and power lines,” DeCroce said in a statement. “And neither can we tolerate long lines at a handful of operating gas stations as people try to get fuel to run their home generators or to run their cars.”

Other signs of a return to normalcy

There are two other events scheduled for the week that, while they are outside of the confines of the New Jersey Statehouse, symbolize business gradually returning to normal in the state.

Enter the courts.

Embattled Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo is scheduled to be in the courtroom Tuesday for the first day of his criminal trial, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The still-sitting mayor is accused by prosecutors of accepting $12,400 in bribes from an insurance consultant seeking a multimillion dollar no-bid contract.

Jury selection for his trial began Nov. 9.

Also, the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case of affordable housing funds.

The arguments, which were postponed from the prior week, concern whether the so-called “third-round” rules adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing, which establish municipalities’ obligations to provide affordable housing, are invalid because they include a compliance mechanism that involves use of a “growth share methodology.”

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

Daily Events

7:30 p.m., “Campaign Reporting in the 21st Century,’’ an election post-mortem, John J. Call School of Music, Leshowitz Recital Hall, Montclair State University

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

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

Daily Events

9 a.m., Second Annual Garden State Economic Forum, N.J. State Museum auditorium, Trenton

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

1 p.m., N.J. State Museum Board of Trustees, N.J. State Museum, 205 W. State St., Trenton

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

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

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

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

Boards and Commissions

9:30 a.m., Commission on Environmental Education and Interagency Work Group, Department of Environmental Protection, 401 E. State St., Trenton

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

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

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

4:30 p.m., N.J. Law Revision Commission, Commission offices, 7th floor, 153 Halsey St., Newark

 

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

8:30 a.m., N.J. Business and Industry Association, Getting the Best Deal when Buying Health Insurance, Pines Manor, 2085 Lincoln Hwy., Edison

Weekly Advance: Week of Nov. 12