A unanimous vote in the New Jersey State Senate, and a sweeping victory in the State Assembly, doesn’t mean the Garden State’s anti-bullying bill — dubbed the nation’s toughest — is a sure bet. Gov. Chris Christie is hedging about whether he’ll sign it.
The gay marriage opponent isn’t just gonna give in and make homosexuals some protected class, ya know.
“When the Legislature wants to act, it’s clear they can,” says Christie. “Now, bullying is an important problem in New Jersey, and this anti-bullying bill that was passed is something that when it gets to my desk I’m going to study very closely and decide whether or not I can sign it or whether I need to improve it. But I consider it an extraordinarily important issue to the people of the state, and it will get my full analysis and consideration, and that of my staff. But it is interesting to note that on this law, legislation was introduced on Nov. 8th, passed out of committees in both houses on the 15th and passed by both full houses on the 22nd. In 14 days, the Legislature could study this issue, propose legislation, pass legislation out of committee and have full hearings, then pass them in both full houses. In fourteen days.”
What’s that got to do with anything? Oh, Christie just can’t understand how lawmakers could so quickly decide that LGBT students are worth protecting when matters of real import take much longer: “Yet, we are 197 days, 197 days, since we introduced the tool-kit legislation that nearly every mayor in New Jersey said is absolutely necessary, regardless of party, and after 197 days of — I want to make sure I get this right — ‘extensive effort to properly analyze reforms and develop a real plan of action,’ this is what we get. No legislation. No detail. A 2-page press release and a press conference, I’m sure coincidentally, scheduled one hour before mine, which we noticed last night. Maybe they needed 198 days to come up with something a little better than this, but this is all we have.”
He’s referring to the “took kits” that would give local municipalities the ability to set their own property taxes, which are logistically more complicated than, say, figuring out whether schools should be able to let students be tormented for six straight years without reprieve.