Assembly, Senate vote to merge panels into one Bridge-Gate investigative committee

The two committees investigating the Bridge-Gate scandal have now merged into one, after a unanimous vote to bring together the groups formed in the state Assembly and Senate.

The two committees investigating the Bridge-Gate scandal have now merged into one, after a unanimous vote to bring together the groups formed in the state Assembly and Senate. (1/27/14)

TRENTON - The two committees investigating the Bridge-Gate scandal have now merged into one, after a unanimous vote to bring together the groups formed in the state Assembly and Senate.

But whether or not fewer committees will lead to fewer problems has yet to be seen.

The hearing Monday included a battle between Republicans fighting for control over things like access to documents, and Democrats using their majority to keep the same procedures in place.

"Coming down here is a big investment of time and to be treated as a member of an audience rather than an involved legislator would be inappropriate," says Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, (R) Morris Plains. "Right now I'm cautiously optimistic that will not happen."

The committee did have to resend all of its 20 subpoenas, but the due date of Feb. 3 hasn't changed. 

The chairman said they'll wait to see what information comes back before deciding when to meet again.

The new committee is made up of 12 lawmakers: eight Democrats and four Republicans. Assembly members outnumber the Senators two to one.

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