TRENTON – A bi-partisan measure sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Diane Allen (R-Burlington, Camden), which would require county political committees to adopt and distribute a constitution and bylaws ensuring fairness and the rights of members, was approved today by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
“I’d like to congratulate the Assembly Judiciary Committee for considering such an important piece of legislation,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “This bill was supported by a bi-partisan group of women legislators, chaired by Senator Allen, Assemblywomen Spencer and Handlin, and myself. This bill is a step in the right direction as we move forward toward open government in New Jersey.”
Under the bill (S-930), municipal clerks would be required to file an official list of committee members with the county clerk within 20 days after a committee’s first meeting following the primary. This list would be considered a government document, available to the public upon request. The bill also requires Committee constitutions and bylaws to include procedures for removing committee officers who are unwilling or unable to serve in their office. All contested votes would be held by secret ballot to prevent tampering.
“This bill becomes more important when you realize about 40 percent of the current Legislature was selected by county committee members,” Senator Weinberg said. “This bill enhances transparency and integrity in the filling of vacancies for elected officials.”