Rescheduled Sessions Give Cabinet Insiders Hope but Statehouse Sources Say ‘Don’t Read into it’

TRENTON – The 16th Floor of a white, river-scruffy government building overlooks the Delaware, and to southward the iconic gold rump of the Capitol juts atop crumpled-up buildings of the wastrel capital city.

Rescheduled sessions for the Assembly and Senate from today (Thursday) to tomorrow (Friday)* gave insiders here a spark of hope that maybe Governor Phil Murphy and Legislative Leadership could pull together a deal before the end of the week.

“I think we’re going to get there,” a member of the Governor’s cabinet told InsiderNJ.

Or maybe they were just trying to lengthen the runaway ahead of Sunday’s deadline.

As it turned out, it looked like the latter.

They didn’t seem any closer.

“Don’t read too much into it,” a Statehouse source cautioned, noting that late bills would simply require another day to constitutionally gestate.

Sources said the Governor was in fact putting his cabinet on shutdown footing here at 240 West State Street. For a few minutes, reporters sat in the cabinet room as Attorney General Gurbir Grewal chatted with DOBI Commissioner Marlene Caride. Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet occupied a chair on the same side of the table as Board Public Utilities Chief Joe Fiordaliso and others arrived.

People kicked around a tweet by Governor Chris Christie from last night ragging on Germany (Murphy’s World Cup team), yukking it up over the insistence of the former Governor to hound his successor. Moments later, as Murphy bore down on the meeting room, staffers herded reporters into another room, promising time with the Governor following his private cabinet meeting.

In the general mugginess, veterans harrumphed away the prospect of a shutdown, pointing out that during the 2006 shutdown, casino workers were determined to be non-essential, thereby the casinos were closed. It was a contentious issue, which forced South Jersey to a timely resolution. The argument that they were essential whereas park workers, etc, weren’t, didn’t sell politically. Once so determined, things settled fast.

Sweeney was in Atlantic City today.

*Editor’s Note: To Saturday.

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