Scutari wants longer terms, O'Toole likes limits, Weinberg wants reapportionment

Scutari wants longer terms, O'Toole likes limits, Weinberg wants reapportionment
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union)

TRENTON- State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) wants to change terms for members of the state Senate from four to five years, and when he opens the item up to discussion on the Senate State Government Committee, state Sen. Whip Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex) goes in the opposite direction by broaching the issue of term limits.

“You can’t say New Jersey is a success story,” O’Toole says. “This committee has the opportunity to do something bold."

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) doesn’t immediately align herself with O’Toole’s suggestion, but does question lengthening the terms of service of legislators.  She worries about creating even more insular elected offices.

“When you extend the term, you only let the incumbent continue that (natural incumbent) advantage,” Beck says.  “The way our districts are crafted now, it’s very difficult to overturn an incumbent. You have to have a safeguard that you’re not simply crafting a way for those in office to simply stay in office.”

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For now, 'I'm from New Jersey' derails four-song package of proposed state songs

For now, 'I'm from New Jersey' derails four-song package of proposed state songs
Songwriter Red Mascara

TRENTON - In 1960, Gov. Robert Meyner complained that New Jersey didn’t have an official state song that bands could play when he appeared, so songwriter Red Mascara wrote “I’m from New Jersey,” he tells the Senate State Government Committee.

Mascara’s state song passed both houses of the Legislature in 1972, however, the governor never signed the measure into law and Mascara’s ode to the Garden State dangled into history.

Now, as the state senate committee considers the passage of four official state songs packaged in a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May), an elderly Mascara fights for the inclusion of his song in the official canon.

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Scutari bill would lengthen term durations

Scutari bill would lengthen term durations
Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union)

TRENTON – Of interest in this Senate State Government Committee today is a bill sponsored by state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), which would change the term of members of the state Senate to five years, and the term of Assembly people to three years followed by two years in an alternating pattern. Presently, the committee will consider the bill.

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State government committee moves municipal elections bill

State government committee moves municipal elections bill
State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic)

TRENTON - The state Senate Committee today passed a bill that would give some towns the option of moving their nonpartisan elections from the second Tuesday in May to the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

The bill specifically targets towns with a population between 17,500 and 26,000 in a second class county or a population of 10,000 of fewer in any county.

State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) moved the bill, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) seconded the motion, and state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex) and state Sen. Nick Scutari (D-Union) joined them in voting in favor of the bill.

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Morning News Digest: February 2, 2009

Lesniak wins human rights competition

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) has won the Memorial de Caen International Human Rights Competition, where lawyers from the United States France, Belgium, Guinea, Senegal, and Switzerland competed with speech topics ranging from governmental to military abuses of human rights. Lesniak's speech, "The Road to Justice and Peace," won the acclaim of a panel of elite international judges.

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The Back Room

Dems stumble over one another on guv trail as newly mic'd up Murphy joins the fray

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) regaled the crowd tonight gathered for a Middlesex County Democratic Committee fundraiser organized by Chairman Kevin McCabe.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

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