Seven Senate committee hearings are scheduled for a Monday legislative day in Trenton. Here are two worth watching out for.
Senate Environment and Energy
The committee’s 10 a.m. hearing will see debate regarding SCR-163, a Senate resolution that would put a constitutional amendment question on the ballot this year asking voters whether they support dedicating all money received through environmental contamination settlements for certain environmental purposes. The bill comes on the heels of recent protest surrounding the state’s $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil, which is expected to be approved by a judge this month following a 60-day public comment period. Critics of that settlement claim that over 40,000 residents voiced their opposition to the bill over that period. Sponsored by state Senator Bob Smith (D-19), the resolution was introduced and held for modification at the committee’s last hearing
A legislative effort by Senate and Assembly Democrats to get a controversial consumer protection bill aimed at shoring up rising out-of-network healthcare prices in the state is expected to make more progress today during a 1 p.m. hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee, should any one of the three Republicans on the panel get on board. Dubbed the “Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act,” S20/A4444 aims to make the amount that health care providers bill to patients and insurers more transparent — and has been stirring debate among physicians and hospital representatives, many of whom have reservations about the legislation, and the Democrats and consumer advocates who have worked to bring it to fruition. Last week, the bill was tweaked — but ultimately released — at an Assembly committee hearing to bring it in line with some of those concerns, with lawmakers removing a key provision of the legislation that limited what health care providers were allowed to charge patients.