SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 166

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 20, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator  BARBARA BUONO

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Greenstein

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Disapproves State Treasurer’s negotiated contract delegating to Public Media NJ, Inc., responsibility for conducting television operations of State public broadcasting system.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution disapproving the State Treasurer’s negotiated contract delegating to Public Media NJ, Inc., responsibility for conducting the television operations of the State’s public broadcasting system.

 

Whereas, The "New Jersey Public Broadcasting System Transfer Act," P.L.2010, c.104 (C.48:23-18 et seq.) (“the act”), in part, authorizes the State Treasurer to receive one or more proposals to transfer the operations of the State’s public broadcasting system to a nonprofit corporation or other entity; and

Whereas, On June 13, 2011, the State Treasurer submitted to the Legislature a proposed contract that delegates responsibility for the television broadcasting component of the State’s public broadcasting system, currently operated by New Jersey Network Public Television and Radio ("NJN") under the authority of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, to Public Media NJ, Inc. (”PMNJ”), a New Jersey nonprofit corporation created at the initiative of WNET.ORG; and

Whereas, WNET.ORG, the public broadcasting station for the New York metropolitan area, is simply not a New Jersey centric entity that could reliably continue to devote future resources to covering important issues to New Jerseyans; and

Whereas, PMNJ’s proposal to provide at least 20 hours of New Jersey-centric programming a week does not include a nightly news broadcast, but instead provides for news programming that replaces NJN’s traditional news broadcast with highlights of issues around the State; and

Whereas, PMNJ’s plans to hire a news staff of 15 to 20 people, about half of what NJN devotes to the job today, to cover a State with a population of 8.5 million residents, is simply not realistic; and

Whereas, The high level of professionalism and excellence that NJN currently provides to the citizens of New Jersey could not possibly be matched by any operation that proposes to use limited resources to provide public television programming in this State; and

Whereas, The bidding and selection process by which the State Treasurer considered proposals to operate the State’s public broadcasting system lacked transparency and public input; and

Whereas, Competing proposals to operate the State’s public broadcasting television system are impressive as they would provide more comprehensive coverage of New Jersey-based news and public affairs, as well as arts and cultural programs, health communications and educational programming, while maintaining the nightly news programming as well as its other public affairs programming; and

Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper that the Legislature disapprove the State Treasurer’s negotiated contract delegating to Public Media NJ, Inc., the responsibility of conducting the television operations of the State public broadcasting system; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    Pursuant to section 5 of P.L.2010, c.104 (C.48:23-22), the Legislature disapproves the proposed contract negotiated by the State Treasurer, submitted to the Legislature on June 13, 2011, which delegates to Public Media NJ, Inc., responsibility for conducting the television operations of the State’s public broadcasting system, currently operated by New Jersey Network Public Television and Radio under the auspices of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority.

 

     2.    Duly authenticated copies of this concurrent resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, shall be transmitted to the Governor and the State Treasurer.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution disapproves the State Treasurer’s negotiated contract which delegates to Public Media NJ, Inc., an initiative of WNET.ORG, responsibility for conducting the television operations of the State public broadcasting system, currently operated by New Jersey Network Public Television and Radio under the auspices of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, for the reasons set forth in the resolution’s preamble.  The "New Jersey Public Broadcasting System Transfer Act," P.L.2010, c.104 (C.48:23-18 et seq.), in part, authorizes the Legislature to disapprove a proposed contract within 15 days of receiving the contract if the Legislature so chooses.  Any disapproval shall occur by the passage of a concurrent resolution by a simple majority vote of the full membership in each house within that time period.