Weekly Advance: Week of Aug. 19

TREN TON – Lawmakers are back. Well, at least for a day.

The full Senate will gavel in Monday for a regular session. And while the board list includes a handful of noncontroversial bills, one item on the agenda is an issue that’s been simmering for several weeks, if not months.

S2583/A3680, an expansive Economic Opportunity Act designed to streamline five economic development programs into two and enhance their outreach, will have its opportunity to go on the Senate floor again after a summer lull in Trenton.

The latest version was updated and passed by the Assembly in June and now must return to the Senate for another vote.

Lawmakers who support the bill said that among other things, the bill will help repurpose shuttered hospital sites, prevent job loss, especially in Southern New Jersey, and target tax incentives for employers in some poverty-ridden areas and in and around transportation hubs.

However, environmental opponents warn that sensitive areas in the Highlands and Pinelands and elsewhere will be even more vulnerable to development. “It is the biggest sell-out of open space in the state’s history,’’ Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club said earlier this year.

The bill has seen a handful of revisions since being introduced and, given the interest surrounding it, it’s safe to assume there will be additional debate.

The session is mostly all that’s on the Statehouse agenda for the week (the other event is a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Monday). However, it will give reporters a chance to speak with lawmakers after Gov. Chris Christie took action on some controversial bills late Friday afternoon.

The other news will continue to be statewide campaigns.  

Sen. Barbara Buono v. Christie and Booker v. Lonegan.

The gubernatorial campaign was largely quiet last week and it’s more likely conservative Republican Steve Lonegan will do more to make headlines this week in his battle to take down the race’s front runner – Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

 

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

11 a.m., Judiciary Committee, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

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

Boards and Commissions

8 a.m., Delaware River Port Authority, 11th-floor board room, One Port Center, 2 Riverside Drive, Camden

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., N.J. Mosquito Control Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, 501 E. State St., Plaza 5, Trenton

7 p.m., Atlantic Coast Shellfisheries Council, Nacote Creek Law Enforcement Office, 360 New York Road, Port Republic

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

Boards and Commissions

10 a.m., Board of Public Utilities, Rm. 11, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

10 a.m., Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, Prallsville Mills, 33 Risler St., Stockton

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

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 Aug. 19