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A Victory on Guns and Buffers

Christie Suffers Historic Legislative Over-ride on Guns & Veto on Buffers

Good Public Policy Is Good Politics

I was in the Senate gallery today to witness an historic event: the Senate finally mustered the votes to over-ride Gov. Christie’s veto of a minor gun safety bill – and shortly afterward – asserted a rare Constitutional legislative veto power.

The veto override was a political milestone for the Democrats. But it was on a very minor bill.

beck1-284x300The debate was heated at times. I was surprised and disappointed by Senator Beck in leading the Republican floor debate opposing the over-ride. She was a cosponsor of the original bill and changed her mind after she said she read the bill. Lame, and obviously driven by partisan motives.

I am sure the NJ press corps will report extensively on the gun issue and ignore the historic Legislative veto of the DEP flood rules.

[Yup: see this and this on the gun over-ride – but nothing so far on Legislative veto (as of 7 pm)]

But, more substantively and more importantly as a matter of public policy, the Senate also passed Senate Resolution SCR 180, to begin the process of legislatively vetoing Gov. Christie’s DEP’s flood hazard, storm water and coastal zone regulatory rollbacks .

The vote on SCR 180 was largely along party lines – 24 in favor – 13 opposed.

That means that 13 Republicans put partisan political loyalty to Governor Christie above preventing major rollbacks to protections for water quality and flood risks.

[Correction – 10/23/15 – the vote tally was just posted on the Legislature’s website. 3 Republicans voted YES, so only 11 Republicans, not 13 sold out (O’Toole didn’t vote). Two Democrats – Van Drew and Rice noted NO with the Republicans.]

There was no Senate floor debate before the vote. So, I really have nothing of substance to report until I review the vote tally to see how the vote went.

The next step is securing an Assembly sponsor and moving a companion Assembly resolution.

My Trenton sources advise that Assemblyman McKeon is willing to be the sponsor and that Assembly Speaker Prieto supports the veto.

I assume that Assembly Environmental Committee Chairwoman Spencer would be a prime co-sponsor and ready to post the Assembly Resolution for hearing very soon.

I spoke with Assemblyman Benson, member of the Environment Committee, at another event today, and he seemed supportive.

Please begin to reach out to Assembly friends to urge their support!

More to follow.

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