By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog
Only in government and on union jobs does a no-show get paid. Now, the Assembly has codified the practice, allowing members to phone in their presence in order to obtain a quorum for the transaction of business.
Caught by The Star-Ledger with their absentee hands in the cookie jar as being “present” when they were nowhere near Trenton, the Assembly unanimously passed a measure to legitimize the shady practice of being recorded as attending a session you didn’t.
Irrespective of what’s on the agenda, voters elect representatives to be physically on the job when there is business to transact, not to not be on the job. If you can’t commit 100 percent, then find a new hobby.
The practice resembles what’s done in many states where an absent legislator has his or her vote on legislation cast by another member. We’re told that doesn’t happen in New Jersey because legislators must be physically present to vote on bills, but how do we know? After all, if they phone it in to get a quorum, who’s to say they don’t do it to enact laws?
When the Assembly cooks one set of books, we can’t rely on the others.