the staff of the Ridgewood blog
River Vale NJ, State Senator Holly Schepisi posted an explanation of the difference between a NJ State Senator and US Senator :
“I know it’s been a long time since people took civics or any type of political science class so oftentimes people don’t understand the differences between State governments and the Federal government. I get comments frequently on this page from residents who believe I represent them as a US Senator in Washington, DC rather than as a State Senator in New Jersey.
2. I only vote on issues and legislation impacting NJ.
3. I do not have any control whatsoever over federal laws or policy.
4. Under the U.S. Constitution each State has strong powers to set its own laws for its residents.
5. If a state such as Texas passes a law it has ZERO direct impact on residents of NJ.
6. New Jersey elects two US Senators and 12 congressional representatives. They and they alone vote on federal legislation.
7. I do not commute to DC. I work in Trenton.
8. There are 40 state legislative districts in New Jersey. Each legislative district has two Assembly representatives and one Senate representative.
9. The NJ Legislature is different from the Executive branch of government. The legislature alone votes on all legislation impacting residents. The Governor does not legislate — the Governor can either sign, conditionally veto or absolute veto bills that are passed by the legislature.
10. Although there have been Democratic and Republican Governors in NJ over the past 20 years, the legislature has solely been controlled by the Democratic Party. All legislation passed during these two decades impacting NJ residents has been sponsored by the Democratically controlled legislature.”