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Full Senate To Consider Fy09 Revenue Offset, ‘One Handgun A Month,’ Medical Marijuana And ‘Vote By Mail’ Bills Monday

TRENTON – The full Senate will meet on Monday, February 23 at 2PM to consider a diverse package of bills, ranging from legislation that would amend the FY09 budget to implement components of the Governor’s plan to offset revenue shortfalls, to a bill that would permit the use of medical marijuana in New Jersey.

One bill, S-15, which is sponsored by Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, would amend the current budget by implementing Governor-recommended revenue-saving measures to help offset current shortfalls and rebalance the budget.

The Senate will also consider S-1744, sponsored by Senators Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson, and Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex and Union, which would ban the sale or purchase of more than one handgun per person, within a 30-day period. The bill would focus on straw purchasers and bulk sellers, who obtain multiple gun permits, buy the guns and then sell them on the black market to unlicensed buyers.

Also on Monday’s docket is S-119, known as the �New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.” Sponsored by Senators Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset and Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, the bill would permit the use of medical marijuana for certain people suffering from chronic and terminal diseases.

Also up for a vote is a package of bills sponsored by Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, which would promote the use and development of renewable energy in New Jersey.

� S-1299 would permit the location of certain wind and solar energy generating facilities in areas currently zoned for industrial use.

� S-1303 would codify certain language used to regulate zoning use variances under the State’s “Municipal Land Use Law.”

� S-2265 would require developers of new residential properties with 25 or more units to offer prospective owners the option of using solar energy in their new home.

Lastly, the Senate will vote on S-1380, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, and Senator Ray Lesniak, D-Union, which would create a Vote by Mail system to allow more New Jerseyans to take part in the democratic process.


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