By Megan McCue

This week, the NJSPL summer interns visited the New Jersey State House in Trenton as part of their ongoing public policy research and curriculum. The students met with various public servants, including a state legislator, mayors, policy advisor, and other staff in the Office of the Governor.  They discussed factors influencing policy prioritization, strategies for advancing legislation, and pressing issues that have been addressed or that are still outstanding.

The group toured the capitol building, also the third-oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the U.S., and afterward met with Assemblyman Dan Benson who provided a behind-the-scenes tour of the Assembly floor and an in-depth presentation of how the legislative process works on the state level.

Also in attendance were Mayors Paul Muir and Jason Cilento and New Jersey Conference of Mayors (NJCM) Executive Director Kerry Kirk Pflugh. After the tour, the NJSPL held a luncheon at the NJCM headquarters, where the students were able to connect with the mayors and learn how specific public policies are implemented on the municipal level. In addition, two representatives from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), Stefani Thachik and Sara Lipsett met with the Policy Lab’s interns during lunch. Jennifer Spiegel, a former research assistant with the NJSPL who is now working as a Policy Analyst with the Office of the Governor, joined the group for the tour and lunch.