Friday, May 14, 2010

Assembly Committee Trenton

Relying on the legislature in Trenton to see through good legislation regarding the Laurelwood housing situation, at this point, is useless, because the Assembly's Military and Veterans Affairs Committee once again kicked the proverbial can down the road and yesterday failed to post, let alone pass, A2014 - the cost-benefits and security assessment measure put forth by Caroline Casagrande and Declan O'Scanlon. At the same time, there is not a peep from the District 12 team about their own measure or why it continues to fail to pass through the full legislature for passage by Governor Christie. This is inexcusable.

The whispers that we're hearing are that perhaps the bill is moot at this point, what with the Navy's decision to pursue a buyout of the Laurelwood contract, and that now one of the caucuses within the legislature is all of a sudden not so keen on the measure...presumably for the same ridiculous and unfounded logic of some local housing advocates that view a Naval weapons depot as an appropriate venue for civilians to live.

Either way, here we have our elected officials in Trenton, once again, failing to see through a measure that a) already passed through this same Assembly committee last year, b) passed through Senate committee in the last legislative session and c) passed through the full Senate by way of a 37-0 vote earlier this year. Yet, now there the Assembly committee sees fit to put A2014 on ice, even when it's clear that New Jerseyans will not incur any extraneous costs for the State Treasurer to go in and simply assess the situation.

Ah...Trenton once again proving to be a debacle, and continuously clueless about how the Pentagon continues to play New Jersey as an utter fool, with the Laurelwood civilian housing proposal and the nearly-criminal closure of Fort Monmouth as our most recent guide. Shame on the Assembly committee for failing to pass a no-nonsense measure that could serve as a viable precedent on which future NJ legislators can act the next time the Pentagon comes in and want to run roughshod over our fine state.

Monday, May 10, 2010

NOPE Supporters - Pick Up That Phone Today!!!

According to the N.J. Legislature website, the Assembly's Military and Veterans Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet this Thursday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in Trenton. NOW is the time for NOPE supporters to call Committee Chairman, Jack Conners (856-461-3997), and Vice-Chair, Cleopatra Tucker (973-926-4320) with a simple message: "please post A2014 in committee."

Supporters may recall us lambasting the Asbury Park Press editorial last week for heaping praise on the District 12 legislators for introducing their Laurelwood legislation in Trenton, but failed to state that S762-A2014 has not yet passed. Yes, the Assembly committee approved A2014's predecessor legislation in the previous Trenton session, and, yes, S762 passed the Senate this current session, but the current assembly committee needs to move A2014 forward before presumed passage by Governor Christie.

Of course NOPE applauds Senator Beck, Assemblyman O'Scanlon and Assemblywoman Casagrande for presenting the legislation and backs this measure, but continues to wonder why Trenton continues to drag its feet on passing A2014. Now, we need our supporters to remind Chairman Conners and Vice Chair Tucker of the importance of this measure, regardless of the Navy's impending buyout of the Laurelwood housing development at Naval Weapons Station Earle.

Even if S762-A2014 appears moot because of the Department of Navy's decision to buy out Laurelwood, NOPE suggests the legislation could prove vital in terms of protecting New Jersey's interests (i.e. establishing a precedent) in the event of future civilian housing proposals on our State's military bases. This needs to be reiterated by our supporters to the Assembly committee members that we call. Please make the call!