State of New Jersey
Executive Order #72

Governor Jon S. Corzine

WHEREAS, Byron M. Baer, a retired New Jersey Assemblyman and State Senator, was a leader in the public life of both this country and this State; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer, throughout his life, consistently and fearlessly sought to promote justice and increase transparency in public life; and

WHEREAS, as a young man, Senator Baer traveled to Mississippi as a Freedom Rider to further civil rights; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer, in the tradition of Gandhi, and consistent with the principles of Martin Luther King, Jr., served time in a Mississippi jail, as a Freedom Rider, reflecting his personal courage and his deep and abiding commitment to civil rights and equal justice under law; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer represented his beloved Bergen County in the New Jersey Legislature over a period of four decades as both an Assemblyman and a Senator, beginning his service in 1966 as an aide to former Assemblyman Arnold Brown; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer was first elected to the General Assembly in 1971 and was re-elected to that post ten times; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer was elected to the Senate in 1993, where he served until his resignation for health reasons on September 5, 2005; and

WHEREAS, during Senator Baer's distinguished service in the Legislature, he held a variety of leadership posts; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer, as an Assemblyman, sponsored the Open Public Meetings Act or Sunshine Law, a significant post-Watergate reform that substantially increased public access and participation in government; and

WHEREAS, in honor of Senator Baer's commitment to open government, the Open Public Meetings Act was recently renamed the "Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act"; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer also helped draft and was a sponsor of New Jersey's signature Open Public Records Act in 2002; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer also served on the Securities Regulation Commission, the Hudson Waterfront Development Commission, the Legislative Services Commission, and the Holocaust Memorial Commission and was a past president of the National Association of Jewish Legislators; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer tirelessly advocated on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised, and diligently worked to pass bills protecting consumers, guarding against catastrophic toxic waste disasters and safeguarding tenants' rights; and

WHEREAS, Senator Baer, in addition to these many achievements, was widely respected for his decency, his love of his family and constituents, and his commitment to do the right thing; and

WHEREAS, in the words of his successor, Senator Loretta Weinberg, Senator Baer "inspired people by actually living the principles of transparent government and civil rights"; and

WHEREAS, in the words of Governor Brendan T. Byrne, Senator Baer "was a real leader, and a real student of the Legislature and the process"; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and appropriate to remember Senator Baer and to honor his passing;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Wednesday, June 27, 2007, in recognition and mourning of the passing of Senator Byron M. Baer.

  2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 26th day
of June, Two Thousand and Seven, and of the
Independence of the United States, the Two
Hundred and Thirty-First.

/s/ Jon S. Corzine



/s/ Kenneth H. Zimmerman

Chief Counsel to the Governor