Weekly Advance: Week of Feb. 25

TRENTON – The governor’s annual budget address will be the focus of the last week of February.

Gov. Chris Christie is slated to appear before a joint session of the Legislature to roll out his Fiscal Year 2014 budget. The address comes a year after the governor presented an optimistic budget to lawmakers that forecasted an improved New Jersey economy and included plans for an income tax cut.

And while the state’s economy has improved over the course of the year, revenues did not hit the governor’s projections and, as such, an income tax cut never materialized.

All eyes will shift to Christie Tuesday to witness what the popular governor has on tap as the state recovers from Superstorm Sandy and the battle continues between Democratic lawmakers and the Republican executive over the state’s budget.

The governor, who is known for keeping details of his budget on a need to know basis, will appear before the Legislature at 3 p.m.

Christie is also slated to give his first town hall in weeks a day after he rolls out his proposal.

The midweek town hall will likely be another platform for the governor to hammer his agenda home and pull New Jersey residents to his side as he battles with Democrats in the coming months.

The legislative calendar is relatively quiet for the week. However, things can expect to shift into high gear as soon as Democrats get a look at the governor’s proposal amid an election year.

Internet gaming

Both chambers will, however, meet Tuesday for brief sessions that include a revised internet gaming bill.

The legislation would make New Jersey the third state to legalize gaming over the internet and comes after Christie again vetoed the package earlier this month.

Language was added to the bill to include additional safeguards, including a 10-year sunset period, “giving future leaders the perspective and opportunity to revise and renew Internet gaming as appropriate.”

Hidden in the veto and not described in the governor’s message is an increase in tax on gross revenues from a proposed 10 percent to 15 percent.

Among the additional safeguards proposed by the governor was an extension of the prohibition on state employees and legislators from working in the casino industry to include internet gaming.  

The conditional veto also required lawmakers to disclose past or current representation of entities holding or seeking internet gaming licenses.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the updated bill ahead of the governor’s budget address.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Daily Events

9 a.m., N.J. League of Municipalities, Budget updates, Robert Meyner Reception Center, Holmdel

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

3 p.m., Budget address, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

3 p.m., Joint session for budget address, Assembly chambers

Senate

2 p.m., Voting session, Senate chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Assembly

2 p.m., Voting session, Assembly chambers, Statehouse, Trenton

Daily events

7 p.m., “Green Infrastructure for New Jersey Communities,”  featuring 38th District lawmakers Assembly members Tim Eustace and Connie Wagner, and Sen. Bob Gordon, Maywood Public Library, 459 Maywood Ave., Maywood

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

10 a.m., Joint Committee on the Public Schools, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

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

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Weekly Advance: Week of Feb. 25