As we celebrate the near-unanimous passage of the strongest anti-bullying legislation in the country, will Governor Christie sign the bill?
The Governor has 45 days to act on the bill. While it may seem to be a no-brainer for him to sign it, remember that one of the Governor’s initiatives is pandering to the right wing. He demonstrated this with his recent skepticism about global climate change. There are many on the right wing who are against this legislation because in their convoluted minds, they feel it promotes a gay/lesbian lifestyle. And it’s not in the Governor’s DNA to approve anything of substance that was initiated in the Democratic controlled legislature.
Given the mood of the state after the recent tragedy with Tyler Clementi, an outright veto is not likely. After all, the bill passed with such a large margin that an override by the legislature is almost a sure thing. But the Governor could muddy the waters by issuing a conditional veto, changing some of the bill’s provisions to placate the right while weakening some aspects of the bill. This would throw the bill back to the legislature for an up or down vote on the Governor’s version.
So what will it be, Mr. Governor? Do you have the strength of character to go along with the will of the people, or will you use this bill as just another vehicle to promote your political agenda?