New Jersey lawmakers consider 60 bills during ‘lame duck’ session

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New Jersey lawmakers were busy in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, as they considered more than 60 bills on the state Assembly agenda.

One such bill passed by the Assembly Monday would allow convicts to re-register to vote after they serve their sentence and are on parole. It was a bill that Democratic Assemblyman Jamel Holley called a “necessity.”

“The 85,000-plus individuals that will benefit from this vote here today, they’re Democrats, they’re Republicans, they're Independents, they're black, they're white, they're men, they're women,” he said.

But the bill was mostly criticized by the Assembly Republicans.

RELATED: New Jersey lawmakers advance bill to let some convicts vote 

"I believe that anyone who votes needs to complete their sentence, which includes parole or probation,” says Republican Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.

The bill still needs to pass in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, marijuana activists who want to grow the plant at home marched to the State House Monday. They say that they are concerned that proposed marijuana legalization would force medical marijuana patients to buy corporate-cultivated marijuana.

"People who have been in office for a long time need to listen. This is an important issue we're coming together on. We don't care about liberal, Democrat, conservative, Republican. We care about this issue,” says activist Sanjay Chaudhari.

One item on the agenda that both sides agreed on was a bill that would end the so-called “gay panic” defense for murder. It passed in the Assembly unanimously. The measure would make the sudden discovery of someone's gender identity or sexual orientation not covered as part of a passion provocation defense.

The Assembly is expected within the next two weeks to consider a bill to allow immigrants in the country illegally to have a driver’s license.

Gov. Phil Murphy has expressed full support on the “Driver’s Licenses for All” bill and the bill to allow ex-offenders to vote.

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