NJ Senate Prez Says No Veto Override Attempts This Year [AUDIO]
As we first reported earlier this week, the New Jersey Senate will not be taking its traditional summer-long vacation this year.
Senate President Steve Sweeney has released the summer schedule for the Upper House. Committee hearings to consider bills will be held July 26, August 9 and August 16. A voting session in the full Senate is on tap for August 20.
"There may be a second voting session throughout the summer because I just don't think it is right for us to say, 'School's out. Go home,'" says Sweeney. "We're not in school. We're legislators and I think we need to be in Trenton and we need to continue to work to try to deal with a lot of the issues that are facing this state."
Two things are not on the Senate's summer 'to-do' list. Sweeney says because $183 million has already been put aside in the recently signed State Budget to enact a tax cut in January if revenues match Governor Chris Christie's projections, the Upper House will not being giving in to Christie's demands to pass enabling legislation that would give the guarantee of a tax cut.
The Senate will also not be attempting to override any of Christie's recent vetoes. Sweeney explains, "We have worked numerous times in the Senate to try and override and we haven't been successful in getting Republican votes."
The Senate has 40 members. Currently there are 24 Democrats. It takes 27 votes to override a Governor's veto in the Upper House meaning three Republicans would have to lend support. That's unlikely to happen while Christie is Governor.
Sweeney says the Senate will fight the never-ending battle to rein in property taxes this summer. He says, "We just have too much government in New Jersey and until we recognize we have more than we need we're going to always have high property taxes. We need to change."
"Obviously for me there's a bunch of priorities," explains Sweeney. "Shared services is still a very important bill for me……We have a lot of work to do. This state is a distressed state. We just can't say we're going to come back in September. We have work to do."