New Jersey's Assembly is ready to skip a judiciary hearing and bring a gay marriage bill to a vote, but only after the Senate does the same, the Star-Ledger reported.

In a statement released on New Year's Eve, Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts, a Democrat from Camden, said he's heard enough about gay marriage to proceed to a vote.

“After more than seven hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7 and continued public debate in the weeks since, we've certainly had a chance to hear all sides on marriage equality legislation,” said Roberts.

Dismissing with a time-consuming committee hearing is a positive development for proponents of gay marriage as Governor Jon Corzine's administration winds down. Governor-elect Chris Christie, a Republican, has said he would veto the bill.

But Roberts added that the Assembly would not go first in voting for the measure.

“I've advised the Senate sponsors that, if the bill is passed by the Senate, I am prepared to bring the bill directly to the Assembly floor for a vote before the end of this legislative session,” he said.

Senate sponsors of the bill postponed a floor vote earlier in the month after it limped out of a committee hearing in hopes that a big win in the Assembly would help boost the bill's chances of passage in the Senate.

Christie assumes office on January 19, leaving proponents will little time to lobby legislators and few options. Both houses must approve the measure before Corzine leaves office.

Meanwhile, a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers goes into effect at midnight in New Hampshire.