First the small apology: I forgot Rule #4, “do not call out other users by name in diaries”. I did that in my “Open Letter” and will remind myself not to do so in the future. My apologies to the Blue Jersey audience and to the very hard working editors. I’ll post my thoughts on “transactional politicians” in the proper comments section.
I am writing this on Sunday evening with Oscar night on the TV. Hope I can stay up through it all and find out who wins. As vacuous as some of it is, I have to admit, I still look forward to watching our version of “royalty” take their bows, make their speeches, see what their “wearing”, and enjoy the music. OK I confessed!
Marriage Equality in New Jersey was in the news this past weekend. Speaking for the Senate leadership, I would like to clarify any misunderstanding. We have always said that we would attempt an override of the Governor’s wrong headed veto of the marriage equality bill sometime before the end of this session. There is no new news in that thought! There is no one in our Senate Leadership team who believes we should put this civil right on a ballot referendum and this is not under consideration in the Senate!
There is much timing to consider before we decide just when to post the veto override. We anticipate a Supreme Court decision on DOMA, there will be two elections – a primary and general election – before we have to make a final decision on timing. Perhaps, we might even have a Democratic Governor Barbara Buono elected in November, and then the “timing” will change altogether!
The national Human Rights Coalition has engaged with Garden State Equality and will be working the electoral and political sides of getting the votes necessary for an override. Senate President Steve Sweeney is leading the Senate push for votes, while Speaker Sheila Oliver and my colleague, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, are leading the Assembly side. That effort is what we all need to concentrate on without other distractions. Please stay involved and keep emailing and phoning your own representatives in the State Legislature urging each to vote for the override when it is finally posted.
The Assembly passed a package of gun safety measures last week. The Senate, will be examining some agreed upon amendments to the important bills and look toward the last part of April for hearings. We have strong gun safety laws in New Jersey, but there is room for improvement, including (but not limited to) picture IDs (just like those we use for driver’s licenses), regular renewals of ID cards and safety training. We know that most responsible gun owners agree with these sensible ideas.
Point of Personal Privilege: Happy Purim to those who celebrate. And a very happy 8th birthday today to Jonah Benjamin Graff.