Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Trenches full of poets

Driving home today, my iPod—on shuffle—played Billy Bragg’s All You Fascists followed by The Clash’s Spanish Bombs. I took it as a sign that 2006 will be a good one, politically. So I’m helping start off the year with a local politics post.

The New Jersey legislature has a great website, where you can keep up on your legislators and any bills going through the assembly or senate. I’m digging it.

On January 13, 2004 John Rooney, proposed a bill to make English the official language of the state.  I’m not sure what status that would provide English. I’ll have to keep an eye on this one. Although it looks like it’s not particularly popular. He introduced the same bill in 1998, 2000, and 2002 and it never went anywhere.

There are also some odd ones in there. For example, in the same session, Connie Myers introduced a bill allowing parents to request the library record of their minor children:

    Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning access to certain library records and amending P.L.1985, c.172.

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
    1. Section 1 of P.L.1985, c.172 (C.18A:73-43.1) is amended to read as follows:
    1. For the purposes of this act:
    a. "Library" means a library maintained by any State or local governmental agency, school, college, or industrial, commercial or other special group, association or agency, whether public or private.
    b. "Library record" means any document or record, however maintained, the primary purpose of which is to provide for control of the circulation or other public use of library materials.
    c. "Minor" means a person 16 years of age or less.
(cf: P.L.1985, c.172, s.1)
    2. Section 2 of P.L.1985, c.172 (C.18A:73-43.2) is amended to read as follows:
    2. Library records which contain the names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of libraries are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the following circumstances:
    a. The records are necessary for the proper operation of the library;
    b. Disclosure is requested by the user; [or]
    c. Disclosure is required pursuant to a subpena issued by a court or court order; or
    d. Disclosure of the library record of a minor is requested by a parent or guardian upon presentation by a parent or guardian of a valid form of identification which identifies the parent or guardian as so named on the library record of a minor.
(cf: P.L.1985, c.172, s.2)
    3. This act shall take effect on the first weekday of the fourth month following enactment.
I’m not sure why Ms. Myers felt New Jersey needed this bill. I sent her an email asking her about it, but I don’t think she’ll respond. She is retiring from the legislature, so I doubt this law will get through.

There is, of course, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. And one supporting the “fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children” sponsored by Gerald Cardinale and Anthony Bucco. Those two seem like a winning team.

On the plus side, New Jersey is getting a new slogan. Too bad my wife’s entry, “New Jersey, Love It or Leave It,” didn’t make the cut.


Maryann said...

Re: Jersey slogan, we were laughing at the entries yesterday. Scott suggests "It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap." What do you think, can you hear Tom Kean saying it?

Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

As far as a slogan, I'd go with the same song, I'd go one verse further ("We gotta get out while we're young."

That's what I did, but reading the Assmebly's latest doings, I'm struck by how sane their motions are compared to those of my adopted state these past 20 years (Florida.) I mean, we have a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting cruelty to pigs.

No, seriosuly.

Neil Shakespeare said...

Do they speak English in New Jersey? Huh. Whaddya know. You learn something every day...

Neil Shakespeare said...

Geez, I forgot to ask: what is the current official language in New Jersey?

liberal elite said...

The current official language of New Jersey is Swedish. I know, you probably thought it was Dutch, but no. At least in the more civilized parts of the state, Swedish is it.

liberal elite said...

Rex: I'm glad you pointed out the sanity of most of the proposals. I was struck by that too. Especially since everyone in New Jersey is talking about "pay to play" scandals. For the most part at least it looks like the assembly is doing pretty mundane government business.

boredoom said...

"New Jersey - It's not like you see on TV."

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