Weekly Advance: Week of April 1

TRENTON – Monday is April Fools’ Day, but this is no joke.

Spring has come back around and so has the real work of the New Jersey Legislature. It’s budget time.

The first week of April ushers in the first appearances before lawmakers by state Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff and the legislative budget and finance officer of the Office of Legislative Services, David Rosen, to testify on the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

Gov. Chris Christie’s FY 2014 $32.9 billion budget calls for an expansion of Medicaid, historic school aid levels and full contributions by the state to New Jersey’s pension program.

Included in the plan, which the governor unveiled at the end of February, was a $1.675 billion pension contribution – the full amount called for under the pension overhaul signed by Christie in 2011.  The budget also called for more than $8.6 billion in school aid, a $97 million bump over the current budget.

Now, it’s time for lawmakers to officially sink their teeth into the governor’s proposal.

If March – the month for public comments on the proposal – is any indication, the upcoming few weeks could lack a certain Statehouse drama New Jersey politicos are accustomed to witnessing

Following the governor’s annual budget address, however, Democratic lawmakers gave at least some indication that drama could follow – it is an election year, of course.
Assembly Democrats like Speaker Sheila Oliver cast doubt on next year’s revenue projections by citing the governor’s “wildly inflated and unrealistic revenue projections for the current fiscal year.”

Others Democrats, such as Assemblyman John Burzichelli, said Christie “gave a good speech,” but added, “Like always, it lacked detail and glossed over issues truly significant to New Jersey residents.”

The statements assure there will be some debate, but the lack of fevered testimony in the weeks leading up to this moment could be an indicator of things to come.

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

4 p.m., State Health Planning Board public hearing, Elective Percutaneous Coronary Angioplasty, Camden County College, 200 College Drive, Civic Hall, Blackwood

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

11 a.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Transportation Department, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

9 a.m., Schools Development Authority, 1 W. State St., Trenton

Daily events

6:30 p.m., An Evening with Congressman Frank Pallone, Rebovich Institute for N.J. Politics, Mercer Room, Rider University, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrence

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Assembly

11 a.m., Budget Committee, Office of Legislative Services, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

2 p.m., Budget Committee, Treasury Department, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

4 p.m., Budget Committee, At conclusion of 2 p.m. hearing, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

10:30 a.m., Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, Director’s room, executive offices, 2492 River Road, New Hope, Pa.

6 p.m., Morris County School Boards Association, N.J. School Boards Association, Copeland Middle School, Rockaway

 

Friday

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, “Ethics, Conflicts of Interest, and Preventing Sexual Harassment,’’ Burlington Township Community Room, lower level, 851 Old York Road, Burlington Township

 

 

Weekly Advance: Week of April 1