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Legislature set to override Murphy dark money veto, maybe on Monday

Makeshift agenda is indicator of Sweeney, Coughlin intentions

By David Wildstein, June 06 2019 6:29 pm

Legislative leaders are prepared to override Gov. Phil Murphy’s conditional veto of a bill that would require so-called dark money groups to disclose their donors as early as Monday, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Murphy met privately with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin today, but it is not immediately known if the dark money legislation was discussed.  The governor’s office would only say that the three discussed a wide-range of issues.

Sources with direct knowledge of the legislative leadership’s plans said that Sweeney and Coughlin have agreed to hold a vote. Another source said that preparations for the vote are being made, but that a deal with Murphy is still possible.

The Legislature has a voting session on Monday that Sweeney and Coughlin added to the calendar just recently, despite having other sessions scheduled this month to coincide with budget season.

Legislation scheduled to be considered in both houses lack the substance and urgency that would typically cause legislative leaders to bring their members to Trenton – almost as if Sweeney and Coughlin needed an excuse to ensure legislators will be around if they need them.

The Assembly Agriculture Committee is set to consider fast-tracked legislation introduced today that creates a “Pollinator Pathway” designation for municipalities, and allows for the collection of seeds from wild native plants.

Also unusual is the scheduling of morning committee sessions in the Assembly, followed by a voting session, and then additional committees after the voting session is over.

The Senate would vote first to override, and the Assembly appears to have a plan to keep their members in the statehouse.

There is little doubt that legislate leaders have enough votes to override, if they want to.  Republicans are enthusiastically backing the override, which creates a clear path to 27 votes in the Senate and 54 in the Assembly.

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