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State Sen. Joe Pennacchio. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Senate panel advances freeholder renaming bill

Measure slated for Assembly committee vote on Monday, source says

By Nikita Biryukov, July 16 2020 3:53 pm

A Senate panel advanced a bill that would see New Jersey’s freeholders renamed as county commissioners Thursday.

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed the measure 4-1. State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) was the only member to cast a no vote.

The legislature’s lower chamber is expected to hold a hearing on the bill on Monday, an Assembly source told the New Jersey Globe, and the measure will likely see a vote before the full Senate and Assembly on July 30.

The bill is backed by Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. It’s also won some bipartisan support.

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) is a prime sponsor on the Senate version and testified in the bill’s favor Thursday.

“The impetus for this legislation before you should be part of a broad political and social evolution,” Pennacchio said. “Times and norms have changed, and through the ballot box, via the people’s elected representatives, we are expressing those changes.”

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