17 Big Dates On NJ's 2017 Political Calendar

TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie nearing the end of his term, state lawmakers are up for re-election, and there's a gubernatorial race. In other words, 2017 won't be a snoozer in New Jersey.

And if that's not excitement enough, a new family will occupy the White House after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in later this month. 

Be sure to mark your calendar with these dates:

JAN. 3 : The 115th Congress begins.

Will there be a sea change on lots of policies that will affect New Jersey residents in the age of Trump? Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.) will be sworn in as New Jersey's newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

JAN. 10: Chris Christie delivers his 7th State of the State address.

After his 2016 ended with a big dud, you can expect the combative Republican to pull no punches. 

JAN. 20: Donald Trump is inaugurated.

His first cabinet won't include Christie, but expect the governor and others to celebrate in D.C. 

JAN 23: First voting sessions of year for state Senate and Assembly

Will the controversial bills that were scrapped at the end of 2016 emerge again in 2017?

JAN. 31: Year-end federal campaign finance reports due.

Did Christie ever pay off his presidential campaign debt?

FEB. 16: New Jersey chamber of commerce train filled with lawmakers, lobbyists, and business people rumbles to Washington once again.  

The schmooze cruise is sure to attract a big bunch of candidates seeking to succeed Chrsitie in 2018.

FEB. 28: Christie delivers his last budget address

He's a lame duck, but the power to introduce and shape a state budget, that most political of documents, will be wielded by Christie for the final time

APRIL 3: Deadline for Democrats and Republicans to declare they are candidates for governor, Legislature. 

It'll be a big list of candidates as the governor's office and all 120 seats in the state Legislature are up for grabs

JUNE 6:  Primary Day

New Jersey will know the major party candidates for governor and state Legislature after primary night. All the independents also declare themselves candidates. 

JUNE 30: Will New Jersey have a budget? 

The budget is due at the end of the day as the fiscal year begins July 1. It's the last time Christie gets to wield his power of cutting specific projects out of the spending plan. 

JULY 1: Christie departs the Statehouse 

No, he would't be quitting. It's just the day he set to vacate the Statehouse so a $300 million refurbishing project can begin. 

AUG 7: Last day for constitutional amendments to get on the ballot

Lawmakers have already said the minimum wage constitutional amendment won't happen. Will Senate President Stephen Sweeney revive his plan to have the constitution require public pension payments?

AUG. 29: Last day for other ballot questions to get on the ballot

Usually this means asking voters to approve big spending projects. Don't bet on it when all the lawmakers are running. 

SEPT. 4: This is when the national press usually discovers the N.J. governor's race

New Jersey and Virginia are the only governors' races in the nation in 2017, and Labor Day is usually when the national press figures it's a good time to come to the Garden State. They'll think big thoughts about how Jersey will have an impact on the current president the year before mid-term elections, get some local facts wrong, drop in a Sopranos or Springsteen cliche and thoroughly enjoy the best weather of the year down the Shore. 

OCT. 1: The new federal fiscal year begins.

Will Republicans, now that they control the executive and legislative branches for the first time since 2006, be able to fund the federal government, or will a rogue group of Republicans threaten a government shutdown once again.

NOV. 7:  Election Day

Forget the president's race. An election day with a governor and 120 seats in the Legislature is the grand-daddy of them all in New Jersey when it comes to power and patronage. New Jersey will get a governor-elect not named Chris Christie and new faces may soon run the Senate and Assembly.

NOV. 8: Lame ducks begin to quack

Now that the governor and some lawmakers will be lame ducks, watch out for all kinds of mischief before the new gang takes over in January. And get ready for the 2018 U.S. Senate race!

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  • Kevin Perez
    published this page in Troy Talk 2017-01-04 11:17:33 -0500