Tag Archive: veto

Sandy Bill of Rights veto override vote today – Will any Republicans break from Christie?

UPDATE: Senate session has begun, and can be viewed at the NJ Legislature’s media page.

Last month, both houses of the Legislature unanimously passed a bill to help fix the Christie administration’s disastrous Sandy relief process. That was the Sandy Bill of Rights, spearheaded by Steve Sweeney, who went out on a listening tour through some of the communities most impacted by the superstorm to hear from frustrated residents who say they were left in the dark by the very process they counted on to help them in the months after the storm.

The bills address accountability to residents: requiring clear explanation of eligibility, the right for residents to know the status of their application and what additional info they may need to provide, and clear explanation why an application was rejected or wait-listed.

Makes sense. But Christie gutted the bill package in a conditional veto, which he refers to as a conditional approval while describing the Sandy Bill of Rights as a “raft of partisan political findings, all styled as ‘rights'”. This, that every Republican in both houses voted for, because they saw how the state’s recovery efforts were failing people and knew they could improve that. Since then, some Republicans seem to have forgotten that, siding with Christie and against their own earlier vote.

In the Senate Session that starts in about an hour, a veto override vote is scheduled. Without at least three Republicans deciding their responsibilities to Sandy victims are greater than adherence to the governor’s will when he is wrong, the vote will fail. The stakes are very high, particularly for Sandy-impacted New Jerseyans who feel tangled in Christie’s ineffective recovery policy. We’re going to find out what and who is really important to the Republicans today. I hope at least three do the right thing.

The Senate Democrats did a Sandy Override by the Numbers. Below the fold.

Christie conditionally vetoes NJ DREAM Act

At a noon press conference it will be announced that Gov. Christie has conditionally vetoed the DREAM Act that was written to grant in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants living in New Jersey.

But it will include in-state tuition for undocumented students, to be effective immediately.

Senate President Steve Sweeney told Blue Jersey today that he intends to keep working towards tuition assistance. But for now that provision has not survived Christie’s veto pen.

We’ll have more on this later, in a video conversation coming later with Senate President Sweeney.

Remember when Chris Christie was sensible on gun legislation?

Chris Christie assault weapons lit

Until now, Chris Christie has had the benefit of a New Jersey political press that – with a few clear exceptions – responded to his forceful personality by writing about him mainly as a political celebrity. As phenomenon. Reporting on his latest brash moment is a lot cheaper for struggling news organizations than asking hard questions or doing investigative work. And if Jersey voters were dazzled by his cocksure attitude – buffeted by propagandistic public appearances, Stronger than the Storm ads and YouTube moments produced at taxpayer expense – the state press is at least partially responsible for the legend he made himself here.  

What’s next after Windsor?

Today at 11:30 AM, Garden State Equality is hosting a rally at the statehouse. Following that rally, GSE, the ACLU of New Jersey, and Lambda Legal will hold a press conference at which they will discuss their response to yesterday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision striking down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Here’s what to expect—or at least, what I would expect.

Fracking Waste Ban Assembly Vote and Trenton Rally Thursday June 20

promoted by Rosi

Josh Fox – the director of Gasland 2 visited Trenton on Saturday night and a whole group of committed environmentalists were right there to greet him.  I was fortunate to get a front row seat and to talk with Josh after the film.  

He was exhausted but funny after spending the last evening on Bill Maher’s show Real Time and  then catching a plane back east.  He even treated us to a little banjo playing too. He explained that he wanted to give the folks who are being affected by fracking the first chance to see the film – which will premiere on HBO on Monday July 8 at 9 pm. He also explained that what really matters is showing up to get your voice heard – like we need to do this Thursday at the rally in Trenton to try to overturn Governor Chris Christie’s veto of the fracking waste ban.

Too many folks don’t really understand the concept of fracking and just how much what happens in rural PA will affect those of us who get our drinking water from the Delaware River Basin. We need to educate them – now.  Some folks think that exempting the toxic chemicals stew from the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act means that the toxic waste is somehow OK if Halliburton uses it but not for any other industry. If they had to give fracking waste an exemption – that ought to be your first clue that it is toxic. They only have to treat it AFTER they unleash it on us all.  The fact that they want to dump it here in NJ and that Gov Christie is ok with that – ok enough that he VETOED a ban on fracking waste – ought to tell you that our Gov who appears to care about the Jersey shore is ignorant about our thousands of miles of shoreline along our rivers and creeks and especially the Delaware – our other coast.  The fact that he is desperately trying to REMOVE protections in the Highlands where the pipelines are going just shows how much.  Some folks mistakenly even believe now that natural gas isn’t even a fossil fuel.  Some folks mistakenly think that radioactivity is not a problem with fracking – that radioactive waste is only a byproduct of nuclear energy. They could be not be more wrong. Waste water trucks in Ohio are setting off radioactivity detectors.  Who needs dirty bombs when frackers are illegally dumping radioactive wastewater all over the place that is not accepted at treatment facilities where they expected to dump it?  Fish are already dying, even lifestock are getting sick and small children like the ones shown in the film are getting nosebleeds and testing positive for chemicals that only come from fracking. Now farmers are not even able to compete with the frackers for the price of water has increased and priced them out of the market. You can’t eat fracked gas, folks.

Time for Governor to Reconsider Marriage Veto

promoted by Rosi

In what can only be described as a wholly justified, properly legal and completely shit-fucked decision, the FEC has decided that same-sex couples legally married under state law are half-Americans.

A gay couple married under state law cannot give a joint contribution to a federal candidate if they make it from an individual banking account, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously Thursday.

In a somewhat emotional session, FEC commissioners lamented the fact they had no choice but to deny gay couples the same rights as straight ones, given the Defense of Marriage Act’s legal requirements. Dan Winslow, a Republican candidate in next week’s primary for the open Massachusetts Senate seat, had requested the advisory opinion.

“Mr. Engle, sometimes the law’s an ass,” declared FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub, referring to the line from Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” in addressing Winslow’s attorney Craig Engle.

So now same-sex married couples have lost their first amendment rights, rights the Supreme Court grants to corporations?  They’re currently hearing DOMA, and if they uphold the idiotic law they would have — in a period of three years — decided that artificial legal constructs have more rights than two men or two women who love each other enough to pledge their lives to each other.

Governor Chris Christie vetoed marriage equality a while back, going against the public will.  He can make great strides towards proving he really is the man of the people he presents if he reconsiders that veto and stands with the large LBGT community and their loved ones in New Jersey against outright and unconstitutional bigotry.

Mr. Christie, rescind your veto and sign the marriage equality law.  Public opinion and history would be on your side.