A bill sponsored by State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg requiring the governor to inform legislative leaders when he leaves the state advanced Monday.
The bill would require that legislative leaders be notified one day ahead of any transfer of power by governor. The requirement would not apply to emergencies.
“When the Governor leaves the State of New Jersey for any reason – be it personal or political – the taxpayers of the Garden State still expect their State government to continue operating,” Weinberg said in a statement. “By notifying the Legislature when he passes on the torch of executive leadership, the Governor would put us in a better position to do the people’s business.”
Weinberg’s statement noted a Star-Ledger report detailing the fact that Gov. Chris Christie has spent 54 days out of the last eight months out of state. When Christie is away, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is next in line to become acting governor.
“While the notification issue is certainly compounded by the fact that this Governor spends a lot of time out of State – dealing with national political issues – certainly the same notification requirement would be beneficial for any governor and any State Legislature,” Weinberg said.
Weinberg and Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth have called Christie’s national travel a “Pick me for VP” tour.
Christie’s press secretary Michael Drewniak called Weinberg’s bill "a partisan pot-shot that is completely unnecessary and, frankly, silly," according to NJ.com.
The governor’s office has also pointed to travel by former Gov. Jon Corzine, who was out of the state “105 days in 2008, up from 85 days in each of the two previous years,” the NJ.com report said. Weinberg was Corzine’s running mate for the lieutenant governor’s post.
The bill passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee today by a 3-2 vote. It will now head to the full senate.