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New Jersey FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the powers and responsibilities of the Governor of New Jersey?

By Anthony Olszewski
COPYRIGHT 2003

The Governor is the head of the Executive branch of New Jersey government. The Governor, generally through Staff and Cabinet, operates and steers the state.

The Governor signs Bills into Law and has the power to veto legislation. The Governor possesses conditional veto power; a Bill is vetoed unless and until the Legislature agrees to suggested changes. Concerning appropriations, the Governor has a line-item veto; specific items are vetoed, but the rest of the legislation is signed. To overide a veto, requires a two-thirds vote in both the State Assembly and Senate.

The Governor appoints (with the approval of the State Senate):

  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • State Treasurer
  • Commissioners of the Departments of Agriculture, Banking and Insurance, Commerce, Community Affairs, Corrections, Education, Environmental Protection, Health and Senior Services, Human Services, Labor, Military and Veterans Affairs, Personnel, and Transportation
  • Judges (including the State Supreme Court)
  • County Prosecutors
  • County Boards of Election and Taxation
  • Members of Boards and Commissions
In the event that a New Jersey seat in the United State Senate becomes vacant, the Governor appoints a Senator to serve out the existing term.

Except in the case of treason or impeachment, the Governor has the power to grant pardons and reprieves. The Governor also can reverse fines and forfeitures.

Able to veto the minutes of some semi-autonomous agencies (for example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Higway Authority, and the South Jersey Transportation Authority), the Governor exerts indirect control.

The Governor is the commander-in-chief of the NJ Army National Guard, NJ Air National Guard, and the NJ Naval Militia.

After a review of Cabinet Officers requests, the Governor proposes the budget and sends it to the Legislature in January or February. The Legislature then must prepare and pass an appropriations bill. This still requires the Governor's signature.

Governor can call the Senate or the joint Legislature into special session.

At the opening of the legislative session, the Governor has the duty to deliver a state of the State message. The week before a new governor is sworn in, the outgoing governor presents the speech.

The Governor performs a wide range of ceremonial duties as in the case of proclamations and ribbon-cuttings. The Governor is seen as the honorary head of his/her state party.

Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
First in a series by Anthony Olszewski – Click HERE to find out more.

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