Tag Archive: NJ Assembly

“If a PhD in education can’t follow legislative process, how can the average citizen?”

A Blue Jersey reader emailed me Friday with the above question. Indeed, the system is convoluted. She was concerned about a bill mentioned in my diary: The Assembly abets Christie to allow important bills to languish.

The bill in question is Assembly 448 / Senate 165, which as the NJ School Board Association, explains, “provides a new career ladder for New Jersey’s educators who choose to remain in the classroom rather than moving into an administrative or supervisory role.” It also creates an 11-member Teacher Leader Endorsement Advisory Board.”

This bi-partisan bill was passed by both houses with not a single dissenting vote. So one might think it was a slam-dunk for Gov. Christie to sign it. Also it was sent to him at the end of July. One might think that he would have taken action by now.  

The Assembly abets Christie to allow important bills to languish

The Assembly has held no session since June 29, and no session is scheduled in September or October while Assembly members are in full campaign mode. Most likely there will be no Assembly session until after the November 3 election.

In the meantime, Governor Christie, working on his impossible dream, is allowed to ignore many bills sent to him. “A bill becomes law upon the Governor’s signature or after 45 days if no action is taken. If the House of origin is in recess on the 45th day, the time is extended until it reconvenes. What this means is that bills originated in the Assembly and sent the to governor as long ago as May may languish some six months until early November.

The Senate has held sessions in July and August which forced the governor to sign or veto bills originated there. Nonetheless, according to the Office of Legislative services, there remain 72 bills awaiting action. Two of them are Senate bills (S1380 and S165).

The remaining 70 Assembly bills have a deadline on whenever the Assembly reconvenes. Waiting until after the election is too long. The AC rescue packages and other key bills beg for immediate attention. The governor feels no rush, and no law compels his immediate decision.

The Assembly should schedule a session in September. By doing so important bills can become law. For those which receive a veto, a plan can be developed to either attempt an over-ride or in some cases create an alternative solution.

Opt-in Nursing Home Surveillance: Good Idea or Bad idea?

Surveillance Cameras. They’re everywhere. On the streets of our cities. In the stores where we shop. In the bars and restaurants that we frequent. Soon they’ll be on every police officer on his or her beat. Now, Assembly Speaker Prieto wants to put them in our nursing homes as well.

Today, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee moved Prieto’s bill (A3883) that would allow nursing home residents or their legally designated guardian to monitor the activities in the resident’s room using electronic surveillance. The idea is to reduce abuse and give family members peace of mind that their loved one is being cared for correctly.

The proposed bill contains some safeguards such as requiring permission of roommates for the installation of monitoring devices, and imposing civil penalties on anyone who abuses the recorded data.