Increased Legislative Activity And Reduced Transparency in Trenton

Increased Legislative Activity And Reduced Transparency in Trenton

Yesterday, I posted about the curiously high number of Voting Sessions scheduled for June 2020. Even though the State Budget deadline has been pushed off until September 30th, and Governor Murphy was quoted yesterday as saying he’s not committing to a timeline for submitting the 2021 budget to the legislature, the current calendar showed four Voting Sessions scheduled between now and the end of the month.

At 4:15pm, a new Legislative Calendar was posted, and guess what? Now there are four Senate Voting Sessions, FIVE Assembly Voting Sessions on the Calendar, with an additional FIVE Assembly Committees at the Call of the Speaker Sessions added (that’s on top of the Committee Days scheduled for tomorrow), all happening before the end of June.

Why all of this legislative activity during a time when the public’s access to attending Committee hearings is severely limited? Now that Governor Murphy has lifted the stay-at-home order, these remote hearings and legislative sessions need to be curtailed. If Walmart and Wegman’s can safely resume operations, so can the New Jersey Legislature.

Another disturbing trend: I’ve noticed that the Past Issues of the Legislative Calendar are not being posted on the state website in a timely fashion. The last one to appear is from May 29th–even though there have been multiple calendars released since then (one even posted at 10:15pm last week).

While New Jersey’s coronavirus stats are getting better, the lack of transparency in Trenton is getting worse. We’ve flattened the curve, now it’s time to increase accountability.

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