Today in Trenton

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A Senate quorum at 12 pm and five Senate committee hearings are scheduled for Thursday’s legislative session in Trenton. Here’s a snapshot of what to look for.

Senate Education

At 10 am, the Senate Education Committee will receive testimony from David C. Hespe, Commissioner of Education, on the implementation of common core state standards and PARCC assessments.

Just a few weeks into its roll out at public schools across the state, the new standardized PARCC exams are already causing some serious controversy among parents, teachers and lawmakers. At a hearing of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Schools Tuesday, for example, NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer and other education officials condemned the test, saying it’s been “shoved down people’s throats.”

But that hasn’t stopped Gov. Chris Christie — despite wavering on Common Core standards as he continues to mull a presidential run — from standing by the assessments during his latest town hall, where he urged parents not to let their students opt out of taking the tests, as many have.

Senate Gaming 

At 1 pm, the Senate Gaming, Wagering, Tourism, Gaming & Historic Preservation Committee will mull a bill called “Volunteers in Public Service Pension Reform Act,” which would allow municipal elected officials in the Public Employee Retirement System to continue to collect a pension while serving in office. The bill is being sponsored by state Sen. Brian Stack (D-33) and Nick Sacco (D-32), both of Hudson County, and could stand to benefit another Hudson County mayor up that way, as NJ.com reports.

Today in Trenton