On November 8, voters will go to the polls to elect the 120 members of New Jersey’s 215th Legislature. Due to retirements, redistricting and the inscrutable will of the voters, a number of Freshman Legislators will join the many who win reelection. All those members will be sworn in on January 10, 2012.
The two months and two days between those two dates will constitute our biennial “Lame Duck” period. With the current session’s end in sight and in the minds of all involved, things can happen with lightening speed. Even more than at other times, so constant vigilance is needed.
For those who will be departing from the Legislature or those who may lose power within that body, those nine weeks could be their last chance to exercise meaningful control over public policy in our Garden State. They will not want to let that opportunity pass.
The election’s outcome could also affect the opportunities of various special interests to exert their influence on legislative outcomes. That is yet another reason for careful vigilance during those 63 days. We need you to be ready to assist in counteracting any efforts that may harm your constituents.
Toward that end, our three Legislative Analysts and League Staff Attorney Matthew Weng, have prepared a review of possible “Lame Duck” issues. The first part of that review appears in this issue of New Jersey Municipalities. Part Two will be published next month. Use these to prepare for the coming “Lame Duck.” And then keep an eye out for our letters and action alerts.
But also always remember that the lines of communication run two ways – from the League to you and from you to us.
When you have a question on a bill’s status or the legislative process, call us. When you need more information about a bill or would like a copy of a bill, call us. If there is a problem in your municipality that could be solved with a legislative remedy, let us know.
We’re anxious to hear from you. And we’re always here to help.
Editorial from New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 88, Number 7, October 2011