NJ Politics Digest: Lawmakers Want to Prevent Another Beachgate

Chris Christie.

Gov. Chris Christie could be the last New Jersey governor caught sunning on a state beach closed during a government shutdown under a bill moving through the Legislature.

A Senate panel has advanced a bill that would require state parks and beaches to stay open for up to a week if a budget is not enacted by the end of a fiscal year. The Assembly passed the bill 67-0 in July after Christie was lampooned worldwide for lounging on a state beach closed to the public during last summer’s government shutdown.

But not everyone is on board with the Beachgate bill. The Communications Workers of America, the largest state worker union, worries the measure would make it easier for future governors and lawmakers to shut down the government, according to the Associated Press.

There are many other bills lawmakers could take up during the lame duck session, including one that would ban drunken drone flying.

Quote of the Day: “When I first heard about [the Chris Christie Drive dedication], I thought it was a joke.” – Randolph resident Jody Johnson on Christie getting honored at the site of a historic hospital he demolished in 2015.

Transit Woes Await Murphy in January
Governor-elect Phil Murphy pledged to build a “world-class transportation infrastructure” in New Jersey after years of neglect. He will get a chance to implement that expensive and logistically complex promise come Jan. 16, when he takes over a state government managing a portfolio of projects including repairs and expansions for NJ Transit, new projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a series of infrastructure upgrades slated to be covered by the Transportation Trust Fund.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

4 Bills The Legislature Could Vote on During Lame-Duck
The lame-duck legislative session will be Gov. Chris Christie’s last chance to leave a mark on state government. And it will also be the last chance for the Democrats who control the Legislature to get any bills signed that might not get through Governor-elect Phil Murphy.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

NJ Lawmakers Want to Ban Drunken Drone-Flying
Drinking while flying drones would be illegal under a bill in the state Senate, the latest effort by New Jersey lawmakers to regulate the flying robots. A bill sponsored by state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the chairman of the Senate budget committee, would be the first statewide drone law at a time when the unmanned aircraft are becoming more prevalent.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

1943 Court Ruling Offers Insight on National Anthem Controversy
There is no easy answer to the controversy, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1943 decision in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette provides powerful insight into the intersection of the First Amendment and the flag’s sacred place in American culture. In this landmark First Amendment case, the court held that forcing students to salute the flag and pledge allegiance was unconstitutional.
Donald Scarinci, Observer Read more

The 36 N.J. towns that voted for Donald Trump and Phil Murphy
President Donald Trump and governor-elect Phil Murphy couldn’t be more different. And yet, in three dozen towns across New Jersey, voters elected both candidates to office.
NJ.com Read more

Governor-elect Murphy serves Thanksgiving meals in Red Bank
On Thanksgiving Day, Governor-elect Phil Murphy seemed just as comfortable taking orders as giving them. He brought the entire Murphy clan to serve hot turkey meals at Lunch Break in Red Bank, a 34-year-old soup kitchen, food pantry and service center serving Monmouth County.
NJTV Watch

Christie could be last caught on beach closed to the public
Future New Jersey governors couldn’t be caught like Gov. Chris Christie enjoying the July Fourth holiday on a state beach while it was closed to the public during a government shutdown under a proposal advancing through the Democrat-led Legislature.
Associated Press Read more

Christie road dedication ‘a joke’ to Greystone preservationists
It was all smiles, backslaps and bagpipes on Monday at the Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany, where local government supporters cheered the dedication of the new Chris Christie Drive. But at least a few in attendance stood in stunned silence as the outgoing governor was honored at the site of the massive, historic Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital that was demolished by his order in 2015.
Daily Record Read more

N.J. is prepping for legal sports betting, but what will court rule?
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case Dec. 4, and experts and officials say the scales finally appear to be tipping in New Jersey’s favor…A ruling is not expected for months after the arguments — likely in the spring, possibly as late as June. But racetrack and casino operators are so confident that they’re already making preparations.
NJ.com Read more

New Jersey’s latest bear hunt may also be last for a while
Hunters across New Jersey are making final preparations for the state’s next black bear hunt, which also may be the last one the state holds for some time.
Associated Press Read more

Sikh mayor-elect of Hoboken makes history, but now would rather talk about his city
On a sunny morning last week along Hoboken’s Washington Street, it seems as if Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla encounters a well-wisher every few feet.
The Inquirer Read more

Hate-crime investigation after black churches in Morris County vandalized
Police are investigating incidents of vandalism at five area churches that were reported over the weekend. Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said four of the churches are located in Morristown, while the fifth is in Morris Township. Knapp said the damage included a broken stained-glass window and damage to the outside signs of the churches.
NJ 101.5 Read more

Campaign to Prevent Violent Traffic Stops Tells Drivers to Keep Cool
This unusual alliance of celebrities, police officers and civil rights groups was prompted by a new campaign by the state attorney general, Christopher S. Porrino, that tells people how to conduct themselves during traffic stops as a means of defusing confrontations that have sometimes turned violent.
New York Times Read more

Voters are more politically engaged. Just don’t ask them to talk about it
For the past five months, Burroughs was one of five neighbors from a quiet, off-the-beaten-path street in Westwood that participated in Voting Block, a statewide collaborative reporting project that aimed to encourage civil political discussions and more informed voters ahead of this month’s gubernatorial election.
The Record Read more

Jersey City voters, the election isn’t over yet
In four ward council races — A, B, C and E — the first-place finisher on Election Day did not receive over 50 percent of the vote, so voters will head to the polls again in 11 days in four runoff elections.
Jersey Journal Read more

This New Jersey House Race Is Scary for the GOP
The intense battle for control of the House of Representatives is a national fight, with fierce contests from California to Maine. No single district can tell the whole story of Midterms 2018. But a good fault line is upscale Morris County, New Jersey, where there’s a House race both sides think they need to win to get a majority.
Bloomberg Read more
NJ Politics Digest: Lawmakers Want to Prevent Another Beachgate