Wednesday, February 4, 2015

DeCroce Bill Targets Ceremonial Procedure

While one state Assembly Republican is seeking strip away Lt. Gov.Kim Guadagno’s role as acting governor during Gov. Chris Christie’s frequent trips out of state, there are at least some Republicans seeking to give Guadgano more responsibility.
Well, sort of.

Last week, Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Morris) introduced a bill (A4140) that would give the lieutenant governor — who in her dual role as secretary of state oversees the state’s tourism division — the authority to designate special commemorative days, weeks, months or years for New Jersey.
That’s something the Legislature has gotten particularly good at. For instance, on Thursday — the same day DeCroce introduced her measure — lawmakers introduced bills to designate Sept. 21 each year as “Evans Syndrome Awareness Day” and the last day of March each year as “Polycystic Kidney Disease Awareness Day.” Other proposals have included a “Paella Day” (it happened in October), a “Food Allergy Awareness Week” in May and a “Rip Current Awareness Week” in June.
“It’s to get us out of the business of wasting time on ceremonials,” said Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), who signed onto the bill as a co-sponsor after being asked by DeCroce. DeCroce did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Carroll noted that the governor himself has the authority to declare state days through proclamation (while visiting Canada on Dec. 5, Christie proclaims it ‘Canadian Utility Workers Appreciation Day’ in honor of the Canadians who came down in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy).
Carroll would prefer the business of designating days rest in just one branch of government. But Carroll wondered if the Legislature would be able to resist temptation.
“I understand where Betty Lou is going with it,” he said. “I’m not entirely persuaded it would be effective if adopted.”

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