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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Legislators approaching the 10-hour mark

Some Republicans who gave votes for emergency consideration have left Trenton

By David Wildstein, July 01 2018 4:44 pm

Legislators from both parties are displeased after being summoned to Trenton at 7AM – Gov. Phil Murphy insisted on the early time slot – only to find that the technical aspects of last night’s budget deal have not been worked out.

Multiple sources say there were flaws in the conditional veto sent from the office of the governor’s chief counsel, making it impossible to vote on the measure without taking considerable time to correct the issues.   One problem is that the executive and legislative branch staffs are not in the same room, requiring that drafts are being sent back and forth for review.  Because each line and each word need to be checked thoroughly, the process is time consuming.

Calling in legislators on a Sunday in July to have them sit around and wait will not help Murphy improve his relationships with the legislative branch.  It won’t help him with reporters either.

Another issue at hand is that some legislators have already left Trenton, including a few of the Republicans who had agreed to support emergency consideration.  Democrats are also down a few members: Reed Gusciora departed the Statehouse around 11 AM to take the oath as the new mayor of Trenton – his seat is now vacant; Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) skipped Trenton to stay in his district to swear in Michael Melham as the new mayor of Belleville; and Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) is also absent.

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