This afternoon the Rut-Row Bill passed the New Jersey Senate and Assembly by wide margins.
In the Senate the vote was 29 – 10. Most of the Nays were Northern Democrats at war with the Norcross Machine. Senator Diane Allen (R-7) also voted no, for which I congratulate her on her courage to go against the Governor’s wishes.
In the Assembly the vote was 60 – 18 in favor of passage. Assemblyman Cryan and his crew of Democrats were bulk of the Nays here.
As I stated in my earlier post today, the bill that passed both houses in Trenton is substantially different from the one we got to look at a few weeks back.
The new bill, which was most recently amended this afternoon before the vote, took a suggestion I had previously made and ran with it. That suggestion was the scrapping of the Joint Rutgers Camden – Rowan Board that would have total control over both campuses, and instead replacing it with a joint board that oversees only the joint programs and is ultimately subject to the control of each individual school. That amendment was made in full, making the merger much less of one at all and the final plan far easier to swallow.
With what this final bill turned out to be, we may very well have saved Rutgers Camden for now, which is something everyone, from the faculty and students to citizens in South Jersey, should all be proud of. However, our work is not done, and now we must fight on to make sure Rutgers Camden remains free from the clutches of political machines.
As this chapter in the Rut-Row saga ends, I want to thank everyone who read and shared my articles on what was an issue that hit close to home for me. Together we directly shaped how this legislation turned out and beat back what was set to be a unilateral takeover of Rutgers Camden. That was no small feat for anyone involved.
The bill will now go to the Governor’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. A court challenge is likely if any loose ends remain, since one has essentially been in the planning stages since January when this was first announced. Of course when that happens you can come right here to Save Jersey for the latest.