Gannett State Bureau
Home Port Alliance members will ask legislators to wait before moving ahead on a bill that would give new responsibilities to the state's Battleship Commission, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The bill would give the commission the formal job of advising the South Jersey-based alliance. It was approved by an Assembly committee Nov. 19 and is scheduled for a Senate committee hearing today.
The alliance operates the Battleship New Jersey Memorial and Museum, docked on the Camden Waterfront.
The bill also would give the commission's fund-raising responsibilities to an independent foundation that would control money raised from the sale of Battleship New Jersey license plates and from voluntary contributions collected through a state income tax check-off. Currently, the commission and the foundation are merged.
Home Port Alliance spokeswoman Liz Thomas said the alliance hopes to meet soon with the commission "to discuss meaningful integration of the entities."
The Home Port Alliance and the Battleship Commission have long been at odds because Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina, R-Monmouth, a longtime commission member, favored locating the museum in Bayonne.
Azzolina, sponsor of the Assembly version of the bill, said Wednesday that the bill doesn't infringe on the Home Port Alliance's turf.