TRENTON – A bill that would increase the number of voting members of the Rutgers Board of Governors and which is slated to go before the Senate for a vote today is expected to hit the floor with additional amendments.
The proposal – which has stirred controversy among the university’s governing bodies, namely the college’s board of trustees – has been amended to remove the ability of the Senate president and Assembly speaker to directly appoint their own members of the board. Instead the proposal would grant the governor power to appoint four new members to the board, according to a Senate source.
Under the original bill proposal, Gov. Chris Christie would be permitted two direct appointments and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) would each receive an appointment of their own. Now, the governor will receive four appointments with two of them being upon the recommendation of the Senate president and Assembly speaker, according to the source.
The changes were proposed earlier this week. Also this week, opponents to the legislation argued the legislative direct appointments were illegal.
The amendments specify that one appointee selected by the governor have expertise in the medical field, an appointee selected by the governor and who is also a member of the Rutgers board of trustees and be a Rutgers graduate, the appointee recommended by the speaker have with medical expertise, and the appointee recommended by the Senate president be a Rutgers trustee and a Rutgers graduate.
The Senate is slated to convene for session at 2 p.m.