17 Jun: Turner Bills To Save Taxpayer Money Passes Committee

Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) was released from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee today to prevent wasting millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money on special elections to fill vacancies that occur in the U.S. Senate. The bills will be voted on by the Senate on Thursday.

Her bill S2858 would change the date of the 2013 General election from November 5 to October 16, the date scheduled for a special Election to fill the vacancy left after Senator Lautenberg passed away on June 3. The second bill S2857 would eliminate the special election option to fill future vacancies in the U.S. Senate and would require the appointee to be a member of the same political party as the person vacating the office at the beginning of that term. The bills were released from Committee with a 3 to 1 party line vote.

Senator Turner called on both Democrats and Republicans in the State House to support the legislation to cut the $24 million costs of holding two additional elections in half. Speaking at the Committee meeting, Senator Turner lauded her bill as one that conservatives and progressives can appreciate.

“On one hand, the bills will save the taxpayers over $24 million, and on the other hand, it embodies democracy with a small “d” by making it more convenient to vote on all the offices that affect our daily lives,” said Senator Turner. “If we are genuinely interested in saving taxpayers’ money and creating an environment that encourages public participation and fosters good government, these bills should receive bipartisan support.”

05 Aug: Greenstein Measure To Preserve Open Space Among Three Bipartisan Bills Signed By Governor

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer) to provide direct grants to numerous organizations for the preservation of open space and the acquisition or development of land for recreational purposes has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

The measure (S-2858) was among three bills signed by the governor that will protect open space and recreational areas in the state through grants and loans to county and local governments and community organizations. Combined, the three bipartisan bills (S-2857, S-2858 and S-2859), which were approved unanimously by the Legislature, will provide $157 million in funding for projects across the state.

“New Jersey residents recognize the importance of preserving land for open space and recreation, and have demonstrated their support for these efforts by approving numerous referendums over the years for these purposes,” said Senator Greenstein, a member of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee. “With the signing of this legislation, we can continue the state’s long-standing tradition of protecting our open spaces and recreational areas by making available critical funding for local preservation efforts in our communities. This will go a long way toward ensuring that future generations of New Jerseyans are able to enjoy the rich quality of life that we do today.”