Christie deciding whether to sign or veto 39 bills
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Legislature is on break, but there is still some intrigue in the Statehouse over how Republican Gov. Chris Christie will deal with 39 bills passed in June by lawmakers.
This month, Christie has taken action on two dozen other bills, signing 11 and vetoing 13 — four of them conditionally, meaning he will sign them if lawmakers agree to certain changes.
Among the bills he’s contemplating is one that would end permanent alimony in divorce settlements. The concept has wide support, but Christie said at a media availability last week that he’s not sure the bill on his desk goes far enough.
“Here’s what I have to gauge,” he said. “Is there enough good things in there for me to accept it and get it signed and get it moving?”
His vetoes are significant largely because the Legislature has never overridden one. Even on measures that had broad bipartisan support initially, Republican lawmakers have not opposed Christie’s wishes. Democrats control the Legislature but with less than the two-thirds of the members of each chamber needed to override a veto.
Some of the measures Christie has vetoed recently include a state ban on the disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a bill that would have allowed sports betting at Atlantic City casinos in defiance of court rulings.
Christie has until Sept. 8 — the day the Assembly is next scheduled to meet — to take action on the remaining bills.
Some of the others:
- A requirement that new police cars have video cameras mounted on them or that certain police officers have wearable cameras. Christie let an earlier version of the bill expire without taking action and without explaining why.
- A bill to ban smoking in most areas of public beaches and parks
- A bill that would allow supermarkets in Camden to qualify for state tax incentives
- A measure to extend special government rules, oversight and economic benefits for Camden for an additional five years
- A series of bills to provide information about and allow contributions to the state’s “Farm to School” program.
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