This week, the east coast was hit by the first massive snowstorm in 2018, dubbed a “bomb cyclone” by meteorologists. This weather event forced Gov. Chris Christie to declare a state of emergency and postponed the Legislative Assembly session that was scheduled for Thursday, a blow to Christie as bills that are not passed by the Senate and Assembly next week will be pushed to the next session, one to be chaired by Governor-elect Phil Murphy.
New Jersey lost former Governor Brendan Byrne this week to a lung infection. The Democrat served as governor from 1974 to 1982 and was one of New Jersey’s most respected political figures. Famous for his integrity, Byrne will be missed. He was 93 years old.
Here are this week’s winners and losers:
STEVE FULOP, MAYOR OF JERSEY CITY
Fulop and members of Jersey City City Council filed a lawsuit this week to stop a Christie-backed plan to turn much of Liberty State Park near the Statue of Liberty into a marina. The courts have granted a temporary restraining order, delaying the decision until Christie leaves office.
Christie’s former Bridgegate lawyer has been appointed Acting U.S. Attorney General for New Jersey by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
VINCENT PRIETO PREGNANT ASSEMBLY
While Prieto may have lost the President’s hammer after a coup led by President-designate Craig Coughlin, the outgoing Assembly leader has scored a few victories this week. He pulled a controversial bill that would have subsidized nuclear power in the state, much to the chagrin of Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney, who advocates subsidizing certain PSEG plants. Prieto was also the Assembly sponsor of a bill that could provide billions in tax incentives for Amazon if the company decides to establish its second headquarters in New Jersey. This bill was passed by two legislative committees on Friday and is expected to be enacted next week.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week withdrew an Obama-era ruling that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that legalized drugs. The move complicates matters for Governor-elect Phil Murphy and other New Jersey lawmakers considering legalizing marijuana in New Jersey.
The Trump administration has told New York and New Jersey that the federal government has not agreed to pay for half of a much-needed $ 12.7 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River, casting doubts on the future of the project.
EDITOR JOHN WISNIEWSKI
Wisniewski filed a lawsuit against Gov. Chris Christie last month, hoping a court would agree to stop bond sales for public projects until the public can intervene. But a judge refused to block the sale this week, and the $ 380 million project is set to move forward.
A law came into effect this week that requires Oregon drivers to pump their own gasoline, making New Jersey the last state in the country to require full service at gas stations.