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Even if 'Snooki' bill approved, university to pay speaker

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/24/2017
FILE – In this May 24, 2013, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, speaks with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, center, and Jenni "JWoww" Farley, left, cast members of MTV's "Jersey Shore," on the boardwalk where he took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the New Jersey shore's seasonal reopening for the first time since Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J. Under legislation inspired by reality TV star Polizzi, no more than $10,000 of state money could go to pay speakers at New Jersey's public universities. New Jersey's Democrat-controlled Assembly was scheduled to vote Thursday, March 23, 2017, on whether to send the bill to Christie's desk. (Kevin R. Wexler /The Record via AP, file) © The Associated Press FILE – In this May 24, 2013, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, speaks with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, center, and Jenni "JWoww" Farley, left, cast members of MTV's "Jersey Shore," on the boardwalk where he took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the New Jersey shore's seasonal reopening for the first time since Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J. Under legislation inspired by reality TV star Polizzi, no more than $10,000 of state money could go to pay speakers at New Jersey's public universities. New Jersey's Democrat-controlled Assembly was scheduled to vote Thursday, March 23, 2017, on whether to send the bill to Christie's desk. (Kevin R. Wexler /The Record via AP, file)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's largest public university will still offer $35,000 to this year's commencement speaker even if Republican Gov. Chris Christie approves a bill capping what state colleges can pay speakers.

FILE - In this May 29, 2014 file photo, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi attends WE tv's "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" party in New York. Under legislation inspired by former "Jersey Shore" reality TV star Polizzi, no more than $10,000 of state money could go to pay speakers at New Jersey's public universities. The Democrat-controlled Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, FIle) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 29, 2014 file photo, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi attends WE tv's "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" party in New York. Under legislation inspired by former "Jersey Shore" reality TV star Polizzi, no more than $10,000 of state money could go to pay speakers at New Jersey's public universities. The Democrat-controlled Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, FIle)

Lawmakers have sent Christie a measure inspired by former "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, who was paid $32,000 in student fees for a 2011 speech at Rutgers University.

The bill would cap the amount of state money that can be spent on speakers at $10,000.

Rutgers spokeswoman Karen Smith says the university uses money from its contract with Coca-Cola to pay for commencement speakers.

Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio says that while his bill won't affect the money offered to musician and actor Steven Van Zandt, it got the university's attention when it comes to spending in general.

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