Against the backdrop of a controversial debate on the subject, a Democratic lawmaker tomorrow plans to drop legislation that would alter and empower the role of the lieutenant governor in the State of New Jersey.
Legislation proposed by Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7) contains major changes to the office.
Flying in the face of a seeming counter effort by the GOP seeking to empower the 2016 presidential-office seeking Gov. Chris Christie and minimize the powers of the office of LG, Singleton would…
1) Allow the LG to cast the deciding vote when a tie vote occurs in the Senate;
2) change the replacement procedure if there is a vacancy in the LG position. Makes it consistent to the Legislature’s process. The state committee of the LG’s political party would select the replacement and not solely the Governor;
3) the LG would be appointed Chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors;
4) the LG would be the chair of the NJ Economic Development Authority;
5) the LG and the governor would be subject to the conflicts of interest law. Currently the governor issues executive orders concerning conflicts and disclosures of the office;
6) designates an office budget for the LG not to exceed 5% of the amount allocated to the Gov for operation and management;
7) allows the LG to use any official executive residence not being used by the governor for that purpose.
Singleton’s legislation lands at a time when the state political classes are still shaking off the after effects of a column penned by former Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (D-32) on the LG question, prompted by legislation proposed by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13).
O’Scanlon wants to enable the governor to retain control of the State of New Jersey while traveling out of state.
For his part, the Burlington-based Singleton is often identified within his own party as a potential pick for LG in 2017.
Last week Singleton said he is personally not focused on that job for himself.