The Civil Service System was created to protect government employees from party politics but there is a huge political battle raging over Gov. Chris Christie’s efforts to change the system and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee passed a bill to try to stop Christie. Senate President Steve Sweeney told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the problems Christie has found with the Sandy Bill of Rights are complete “bull.”
When asked if the senate is prepared to move on this topic as well, Sweeney said, “Yes, we are going to support the move to protect workers from political influence. Civil Service is not the evil demon that is portrayed at time. When someone gets employment with government that they don’t have to worry about who the next mayor is, if I campaigned for the mayor, if I don’t campaign for the mayor. Civil Service is something that you can work with and we passed a resolution to stop the administration from doing exactly what they did and the Civil SZervice Commission did it anyway and ignored the legislature. We are going to make our intent clear and whatever we have to legally we will do. We are going to stand and fight for it because out’s not the demon that everybody makes it as they try to portray it to the public.”
As for the Sandy Bill of Rights, Sweeney said that the ironic thing is that very single Republican voted for it and it was 106 to nothing. He said that when bills are discussed, by both sides, the party challenges each other and ask questions of the bills and the Republicans did that as well and endorsed the bill. He said that the Republicans praised the Democrats for working with them to try to make the bill workable.
“The 150 something problems that Christie found with the bill is complete ‘bull.’ I was taught early on in life, when I make a mistake I own it, I accept it, and I fix it and I move on. The administration has done a poor job when it came to administering these programs for victims of Hurricane Sandy. My Republican colleagues unanimously agreed after their own internal debates. The bill hasn’t changed,” said Sweeney.
The arguments being made against the bill are that 50 days is too fast to respond to application denials, requiring Spanish language, and the lawsuit with Fair Share Housing, said Sweeney. He said that the arguments being pointed out are complete “BS” and Christie CV’ed the bill because the administration did a poor job on it. He said that he is going to put the bill on the floor and it is not politics, it is about people. He said that the administration has to put the people first.
“Too many mistakes, we have to fix it. I am expecting my colleagues, to look in the mirror and honestly say what they did the first time was wrong. It was the right thing to do the first time and they should override and support this override because they have to put the people first,” said Sweeney.