Nine Assembly Committee hearings and a jam-packed Senate session at 12 pm are scheduled for the statehouse Monday. Here’s a snapshot of what to look for.
At 9:30 am, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene to consider the appointments of six judicial nominees to the state Superior Court. Interviewees will include Andrea Carter Latimer of Middlesex County, Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr. of Mercer Counity, John A. Jorgensen of Middlesex, Lisa Perez Friscia of Bergen County, Thomas W. Sumners, Jr. of Mercer, and Patricia M. Wild of Cape May County.
Later, at 1200 pm, the full Senate will meet for a voting session in the Senate chambers. Among some of the more high-profile bills are:
SCR158: Sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-21), this bill “strongly urges” rejection of the proposed $225 million settlement over a series of lawsuits brought by the state against Exxon Mobil for natural resource damages at Bayway, Bayonne and other New Jersey oil refineries and sites. Lesniak introduced the bill during a Senate Environment and Energy committee hearing last week, calling the final $225 million settlement figure, which is billions of dollars short of the sought after $8.9 billion, “grossly inadequate.”
S2181: The Senate will vote on an override of the governor’s veto of this “Port Authority reform” bill, passed unanimously by both houses last year. The bill — an identical version of which is being moved through the legislature in New York — aims to overhaul and bring greater transparency to the bi-state agency in the wake of recent toll hikes and traffic scandals. Originally slated for March 5 but postponed until today, Senate Democrats have spent the last several weeks attempting to recruit Republican support for the override, to uncertain success.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21) is expected to introduce a modified version of the original bill today in hopes of making the reforms more palatable to both parties. Democrats, however, say they won’t buy into a compromise.
S2577: This bill would prevent the foreclosure of any mortgage obligation on any real property that was damaged by “Superstorm Sandy for a period of 36 months immediately following the enactment of the bill. The 36-month period will give property owners whose homes still bear damage inflicted as the result of the storm some financial breathing room as they try to rebuild their homes and their lives, according to the bill statement.
Bills include legislation to tighten exemptions from mandatory immunizations, improve the state’s medical marijuana laws, enhance care for wounded veterans, authorize lottery couriers, and improve young driver safety. Additionally, a hearing of the Assembly Appropriations Committee at 1 pm will include debate on a bill bring an Urban Enterprise Zone and property tax relief to Atlantic City.
At 2 pm, the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee will hear from state and local officials on the success New Jersey communities are having using the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act (APRA) to combat blight.