N.J. lawmakers consider expanding lieutenant governor's duties

A measure advancing in the New Jersey legislature would expand the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor.

The constitutional amendment approved in 2009 to create the post of lieutenant governor did not include many substantive duties related to the job, said Assemblyman Troy Singleton.

"I think our current lieutenant governor has done an excellent job of putting forth a role and a profile for this position, but I think it's long past time for us to identify some very specific responsibilities," said Singleton, D-Burlington.

Since she became the first person to hold the job, Kim Guadagno has also served as New Jersey's Secretary of State, as well as overseeing economic development strategy and chairing the Red Tape Review Commission.

Singleton's bill would require the governor's second in command to serve as the chair of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

"Growing jobs in our state is critically important, and to have a formal role in that capacity locked into statute, I think, is appropriate and important," he said.

The legislation also calls for the lieutenant governor to be a voting member of the Rutgers University board of governors.

"The flagship university of our state should have, I believe, the presence of one of our highest elected officials on there to help shepherd the university and also creates a greater tie ... to the  administration, no matter who¹s in charge," Singleton said.

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll said he isn't sold on the plan.

"I'm not sure that the office is broken and that it needs to be fixed. I'm kind of not unhappy with the office as it is."

If the bill becomes law, the changes would apply to the team elected in 2017.


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