NJ Spotlight News reporter John Reitmeyer this week advanced a deeper dive into a recent Op-Ed written by NJBIA and New Jersey Policy Perspective on the need for improved transparency and governance by the legislature and Gov. Phil Murphy. 

NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka and NJPP President Brandon McKoy both write that the policymakers need to improve the process in which policies are made, trying to avoid last-minute, fast-tracked bills needing clean ups and issuing policies through executive order with no stakeholder input. 

“The response to executive orders is challenging at best,” Siekerka told Reitmeyer. “Oftentimes we’re playing catchup (and) looking for interpretations.” 

Senate President Steve Sweeney discussed the transparency concerns raised by McKoy and Siekerka during a recent meeting with NJ Spotlight News editors and reporters, Reitmeyer reported. 

“I understand the criticism, and I respect the criticism, and when we can go slower, we will go slower,” he said. 

“It’s fair to criticize, but also, sometimes there’s just a need to get something done, and that’s why we move quickly.”  

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) also appreciates the opinions shared  in their column, spokesman Kevin McArdle told NJ Spotlight. McArdle said the Assembly is “making a concerted effort to slow down this year to avoid ‘cleanup bills’ where possible.”

But McArdle said said key elements of some of the complex measures that moved through the Legislature quickly last year had been shaped by previous public hearings and stakeholder meetings.

“At some point, issues become time-sensitive and need to get done in order to avoid becoming mired down in political squabbling,” he said.

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