TRENTON – The vote on the open space/sales tax resolution Monday evening stood at 22-8. Senate President Steve Sweeney said the board would remain open.
It was unclear how long it would remain open as Democrats search for two more votes to reach 24, the number needed if sponsors hope to get SCR160 on November’s ballot.
Even if two more yes votes could be found in the next day or two, the Assembly still would have to return from summer recess and vote as well before the week ends. In that chamber, 48 votes would be needed.
After obtaining the 22nd vote today, Sweeney and co-sponsor Sen. Bob Smith met privately to decide how to proceed and see which senators – if any – could be convinced to return to Trenton and vote.
Of the 22 yes votes, there were two from Republicans: Diane Allen and Christopher Bateman.
In addition to the eight no votes, two other GOP senators – Joseph Kyrillos and Dawn Marie Addiego – abstained.
Of the eight senators who did not show up on Monday, several – including Democratic Sens. James Beach and Fred Madden – were out of state.
The Legislature needs the supermajority votes this week in order to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this November.
If all the Legislature can get is a simple majority, then it would need another simple majority next year in order to get on that year’s ballot. Smith was grateful that at the very least the resolution received a simple majority Monday in the Senate.