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Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-Evesham)

Howarth bill would see absentee legislators lose pay

Assemblyman in lame duck session

By Nikita Biryukov, June 21 2019 6:02 pm

Assemblyman Joe Howarth introduced a bill that would see legislators lose their pay for missing voting sessions, committee meetings and quorum calls Thursday.

“You can’t Make America Great Again, if you don’t show up for work. Some members of our legislature have missed over half of the meetings of some of their committees,” Howarth said. “At a time when we are dealing with school funding, pension and other critical issues facing our state we need legislators who actually show up to do their jobs and not politicians looking for a quick pay day.”

The bill, A5689, includes exemptions absences related to military service, sickness or sick family members.

The assembly speaker and senate president can also excuse absences.

Howarth lost renomination earlier this month after Republican organizations in his district dropped him from their respective county lines over a belief that he attempted to join State Sen. Dawn Addiego when she defected to the Democratic party earlier this year.

The assemblyman denies having attempted to switch, though multiple sources on both sides of the aisle have told the New Jersey Globe that he attempted to flip but was blocked by local Democratic organizations in the eighth legislative district.

Local Democrats said they wouldn’t back Howarth in a primary.

After losing the county line, Howarth made an off-the-line bid as a MAGA Republican but was roundly defeated by the county-backed candidates, Assemblyman Ryan Peters and former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield.

Those two go on to face Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale in what is expected to be one of the state’s most competitive races this year.

Following his loss, Howarth declined to endorse Stanfield and Peters, who was once his running mate, but he said he’s reached out to the latter asking him to cosponsor the bill.

“I have reached out to my colleagues in the 8th District to join me in supporting this legislation,” Howarth said. “I hope that my 8th District colleagues and all legislators share my concerns about legislators who miss over half of their committee and other meetings and that they will join me in draining the Trenton Swamp of no-show politicians whose only goal is using our legislature as a platform for self-promotion.”

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