New Jersey legislators, who have been locked in a bitter political debate for months over the Bridgegate scandal, may have figured out a way to bridge the partisan divide: Half Valentine's Day.
Unfortunately, Garden State residents weren't feeling too romantic on February 14 when many were digging out from a Nor'easter that pounded the state on the day before. Temperatures only reached a high of 28 degrees Fahrenheit, which may have chilled the passions of many.
Enter State Assemblyman John McKeon. As the Newark Star-Ledger noted, the Democrat from Madison introduced a bill calling on the House and Republican Gov. Chris Christie to declare Aug. 14. "Half St. Valentine's Day" since it is the half-way mark between the 2014 holiday and the 2015 celebration.
"The summer celebration will allow residents throughout the State to enjoy the spirit of Valentine's Day without the harsh conditions of winter and will create a positive business climate and promote economic activity in New Jersey," according to a resolution McKeon recently introduced.
McKeon, who wasn't immediately available for comment, told the newspaper that the idea for "Half Valentine's Day" came from the borough council in Roseland, a town in his district. A similar resolution was passed in the towns of Caldwell and West Caldwell.
In an interview with the newspaper, McKeon noted, "It's not... my crowning achievement in the legislature, but it's hopefully something that will be simple and will be embraced by local chambers of commerce to try to help out local businesses."
An aide to Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D) didn't have an immediate comment and a spokesman for Christie couldn't be reached.
Of course, legislators in the Garden State aren't the only ones trying find creative ways to promote local businesses.
Lawmakers in neighboring New York debated whether yogurt should be designated as the state's official snack, a move that was mocked by Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." The idea for the bill came from a fourth grade class, which was criticized by state Senator Liz Krueger as being inconsiderate to the lactose intolerant.
Kreuger's concerns were swept aside and the bill passed the state Senate and is pending before the State Assembly.