May 19, 2013 |
Stephen Sweeney took the lectern Friday morning, looked out at a sea of undergraduates dressed in the robes he had never gotten to wear, and addressed the university he had not attended but has had a continuing hand in shaping. "This event is about much more than a diploma that you'll proudly display on a wall. It symbolizes the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for each of you. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't envy you," the New Jersey Senate president told the 2,195 students and 13,000 guests at Rowan University's undergraduate commencement ceremony in Glassboro.
March 12, 2013 |
Nearly two years after a state audit showed security problems and poor financial oversight at New Jersey's privately operated halfway houses, lawmakers took a first step toward creating a task force to study the reentry centers. Lawmakers in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly introduced 11 bills in December that would require sweeping changes to the halfway-house system: more visits and reports by state corrections staff, more financial disclosures by halfway-house vendors, and the creation of a task force.
December 1, 2012 |
The Democratic-led New Jersey Senate unleashed a double-barreled political shot at Gov. Christie on Thursday, approving both a bill and a proposed constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage and provide automatic cost-of-living increases in it. Should Christie veto the bill or strip it of the automatic increases, legislative leaders plan to put the proposed amendment to voters in November 2013, when Christie would be up for reelection....
November 15, 2012 |
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) is suing officials in West Deptford, his hometown, alleging that they let two oil companies skirt an environmental cleanup law in exchange for money to buy two fire trucks. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Gloucester County, argues that the mayor and township council "willfully ignored" a law designed to prevent companies from leaving a polluted site without first paying the state for environmental cleanup. In a June e-mail exchange, a lawyer for Sunoco pledged that the oil company would pay $1 million toward West Deptford's purchase of two fire engines if the township awarded it $13.9 million for a property tax settlement and withheld nothing for cleanup in accordance with the pending law, according to the lawsuit.
October 6, 2012 |
TRENTON - The New Jersey Senate approved a bill Thursday that would lock up certain child sex offenders for a minimum of 25 years. The measure had languished for years and drew the attention last summer of conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly. The Jessica Lunsford Act, named for a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a registered sex offender in 2005, would punish those convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under 13 with a 25-years-to-life prison sentence.
August 21, 2012 |
TRENTON - A bill aimed at stemming the growing number of drug-related deaths in New Jersey is headed to the governor's desk following its approval by the Senate on Monday. The measure, known as the Good Samaritan Emergency Response Act, would offer limited immunity to a drug user who seeks medical help in the case of a companion's overdose. The Senate delayed voting on a more controversial bill - which would abolish the statute of limitations for civil suits in some sex-abuse cases -- after the bill's sponsor failed to muster sufficient support among the 33 legislators who attended the session.
August 17, 2012 |
Upset by a proposed $35,000 raise for a recently hired executive, five South Jersey board members of the bistate Delaware River Port Authority boycotted Wednesday's monthly board meeting, forcing its cancellation and delaying the replacement of Gov. Corbett as chairman. The board members stayed away in protest of a raise proposed for the agency's inspector general, Thomas Raftery III. The DRPA finance committee on Monday recommended that Raftery get an increase to $165,000 from his current $130,000 to reflect an expansion of his duties.
June 30, 2012 |
TRENTON - Despite a few questions about her role in the firing of a prosecutor, Gov. Christie's former attorney general, Paula Dow, cruised through her judicial confirmation Thursday in the New Jersey Senate. Dow, who said she recently moved from Essex County to Willingboro, will serve on Superior Court in Burlington County. The Senate voted to confirm her by 38-0 with two abstentions. Dow originally was nominated by Christie to serve in Essex County, but an apparent dispute between Christie and senators there held up her hearing.
March 8, 2012 |
TRENTON - A plan to hike New Jersey's minimum wage by $1.25 to $8.50 an hour is a step closer to approval after the Senate Labor Committee passed it 3-1 Thursday. The bill, which would peg the wage rate to inflation, passed an Assembly committee last month. Sen. Dawn Addiego (R., Burlington) opposed the bill because, she said, it's not the right time to hit businesses with a payroll increase. Employers might lay off the very people the bill aims to assist, she said. "We need to not only make sure that we create more jobs in New Jersey but that we keep all the jobs that we already have," she said during the committee hearing.
February 14, 2012 |
TRENTON - In a move that supporters called a civil-rights milestone, New Jersey's state Senate yesterday passed a bill to recognize same-sex marriages, marking the first time that state lawmakers officially endorsed the idea - despite the promise of a veto by Gov. Chris Christie. Yesterday's vote was 24-16 in favor of the bill, a major swing from January 2010, when the Senate rejected it, 20-14. "It means the world isn't changing; it means the world has already changed," Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay-rights group Garden State Equality, said after the vote.