NJ lawmakers amend proposal adding political picks to state university's board

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TRENTON, New Jersey — A bill to add four political appointees to Rutgers University's governing board has moved through an Assembly committee.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney's bill expands the university's Board of Governors from 15 voting members to 19.

The amended proposal was approved in a 7-5 vote by the Assembly Budget Committee. The Senate also approved the amendments.

It grants the governor the power to appoint four additional members. Two would have to have a background in medicine and two would be university trustees.

The Senate president and Assembly speaker would not directly control any of the appointments but would each recommend one board member to the governor.

That change came after a report by the legislature's lawyers saying the original proposal may have been illegal.

The larger but less powerful university trustees oppose the proposal.

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