670 new laws in NJ … and lots of not-quite laws that fell short
TRENTON – The final legislative numbers are in on Gov. Phil Murphy’s first term as governor: More than 1,400 laws and joint resolutions enacted, the most in a four-year term since Gov. Tom Kean’s first.
The list includes 670 in the last two years, after 734 in Murphy’s first two years. But even with that, plenty of bills that got traction and public attention fell short and didn’t become law.
For example, one bill that ran out of time would require people accused of animal cruelty to put up bonds to cover the care for their seized pets. The full Senate passed it unanimously on the last day of the last session – but it didn’t get called for a vote in the Assembly, though a committee had OK’d it.
Sen. Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, said it’s being re-filed in both houses this session.
“There’s so much that is done there at the end. Many time things, for lack of a better expression, fall through the cracks,” Diegnan said. “But again, we’re going to go forth with it again, so I’m confident it will become law.”
Diegnan said it might be amended in the new session.
“It’s always my theory to get everybody on board,” he said. “I know folks who own kennels had some issues about it, so I’m dealing with them. So, there might be some minor revisions, but it’s my hope that it can pretty much go as is.”
Last session ended with 197 bills passed by the Assembly dying in the Senate, including 41 that were one vote away on the Senate floor and the rest in committees. There were 213 that passed in the Senate but withered in the Assembly, including 47 on the Assembly floor.
Below are some sortable lists summarizing the status of bills from the 219th Legislature that ended Jan. 11. First, the list of bills and resolutions that were enacted.
Some bills made it to Murphy’s desk, only to be vetoed. Sometimes these come back in the following two-year session, especially those that were ‘pocket vetoed’ at the end of the post-election, lame-duck session.
Here are the bills that died on the Senate floor. Those that start with an A, ACR or AJR were passed by the full Assembly. The others got through a Senate committee or two but not the full Senate.
Here’s the same list but for the Assembly side of the Legislature.
Thousands of bills are introduced each session. The next list includes bills that ended the session in a Senate committee – some that got through the Assembly, some that never got a hearing and plenty in between. (You can click here to see what the three-letter codes mean for each committee. SBA, for instance, is Senate Budget & Appropriations.)
And here’s a similar list for the other side of the Legislature, showing bills that died in an Assembly committee. (Click for Assembly committee codes.)
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.