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A New Jersey Civics Lesson

I couldn’t have been the only one in NJ wondering about this. The legislative session ended a few days ago and a bill came about for Gov. Christie’s consideration regarding further restricting the rights of teenage drivers. Then news came earlier this week that he was using a pocket veto to let it die without his signature.

NJ Governor Chris Christie
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Recently, with the news that Senate President Steve Sweeney now regretted not having voted for gay marriage in NJ and gay marriage suddenly becoming a huge Democratic initiative in the new session, many newspapers reported how Gov. Christie could have a third option if such a bill reaches his desk. Specifically NOT signing, let it linger for 45 days doing nothing with it, and it would automatically become law since he doesn’t have a pocket veto.

How could both be true? I looked this up on the State’s legislative website and found this under their glossary of terms:

POCKET VETO The only type of veto in which the Governor does not return the bill to the Legislature for a possible vote to override. This veto applies only to bills passed within the last 10 days of a 2-year legislative session. The Governor, in essence, “pockets” the bill.

Due to the fact that the teen driving bill was passed within the last 10 days of the legislative session, the Governor COULD use a pocket veto. And since the democrats are making gay marriage such a priority, they’ll be sure to attempt passage long before the last 10 days of a session so this won’t be a possibility for the Governor.

Quiz tomorrow. Class dismissed.

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