Bipartisan Bill in New Jersey Assembly for an Elected Attorney General

On March 20, three New Jersey Assembymembers introduced ACR 134, which would provide for an elected state Attorney General. The sponsors include Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Red Bank), Deputy Republican leader in the Assembly. The other sponsors are Democrats.

There is a similar bill pending in the State Senate, SCR 71. New Jersey is one of only seven states in which the voters don’t choose the Attorney General. Currently the New Jersey Governor appoints the Attorney General.

Tennessee is another state in which voters don’t choose the Attorney General. On February 5, 2014, the Tennessee Senate failed to pass SJR 123, which would have provided for an elected Attorney General. The Tennessee Constitution can’t be amended unless the proposed amendment passes in two consecutive sessions of the legislature. The measure needs two-thirds the second time it passes. It had passed in the 2011-2012 session, but did not receive two-thirds in the current session. Currently the Tennessee legislature appoints the Attorney General.

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