Volume 7/Issue 14

  • State Budget Update
  • Gubernatorial Tidbits
  • Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Announces She Will Not Run for Re-Election

State Budget Update

As we get closer to the June 30 constitutional deadline for a passing a State Budget, there have been several recent developments:

  • As reported by NJ Spotlight, both Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto have agreed to the parameters of the FY 2018 State Budget. 
  • The spending plan, according to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo prioritizes more funding for certain priorities such as cancer research and legal assistance, but isn’t expected to much more than the $35.7 billion budget that Governor Christie proposed in January.
  • However, neither the Senate nor the Assembly will introduce the actual budget legislation and begin voting on it until the Senate President, Assembly Speaker and the Governor come to an agreement on changes to the school funding formula. 
  • The Senate and Assembly announced an agreement on a $146M school funding plan last week, but the Governor has not agreed to the proposal to date.
  • Additionally, the legislative leaders do not want to send the budget to the Governor before having an agreement in place on everything, to prevent him from line-item-vetoing their legislative priorities.
  • The Senate President has gone as far as saying there could be a state government shutdown if a school funding plan is not in place.  School funding represents a significant portion of the State Budget, so the latter cannot be adopted without the school aid figures in place.

The Speaker and Senate President met with the Governor yesterday on the school funding issue, at the same time he received a letter from all 16 members of the Senate GOP caucus urging him to oppose the Sweeney-Prieto plan.

Gubernatorial Tidbits

  • Former Ambassador Phil Murphy weighed on the Legislative Democrats’ school funding plan, calling it “a step in the right direction” but noted that his campaign’s analysis is that a greater amount of funding is needed, closer to $1 billion.
  • Lt. Governor Guadagno’s campaign issued a statement in support of President Trump’s policy shift in placing restrictions on U.S. relations with Cuba and his call for that nation to return Joanne Chesimard to state law enforcement.  Ms. Chesmiard is a fugitive that escaped prison in the 1980s after being sentenced for the murder of a New Jersey State Police Trooper in 1973.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Announces She Will Not Run for Re-Election

Long serving Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced yesterday that she has decided not to seek another term and will concentrate her time on climate change and resiliency issues, which has been a major focus of her administration since Superstorm Sandy.

Mayor Zimmer endorsed current Councilman Ravi Bahalla as her choice to lead the city, stating that “He will continue the progress of our reform team & keep Hoboken moving forward.”

Councilman Bahalla is expected to face several opponents.  Current Councilman Michael DeFusco already declared his run for Mayor and has begun to form a slate of council candidates. Earlier in the week, current Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano signaled that he seriously considering entering the race.   The names of other council members have also been raised as potential candidates, though none have issued any public statements.