MEDIA ADVISORY – Senate To Hold Reorganization Tuesday, January 8

TRENTON – On Tuesday, January 8th, the 213th New Jersey State Senate will meet in the Assembly Chambers to take the oath of office and begin the new legislative session.

“A new legislature always brings with it a sense of excitement and high expectations,” said Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex. “With a record number of new women, the changing demographics of our legislature have created an environment ripe for change. We have a tall order ahead of us, but I have every confidence that each of our members will rise to the occasion and do what’s right to set a new course for New Jersey.”

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place at 12:00 PM in the Assembly Chambers, with overflow seating available in the Senate Chambers. Members of the media will be allowed to interview Senators immediately before and after the proceedings, but space on the Assembly floor is extremely limited for media professionals during the ceremony.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on public access cable television channels, and will be available to view over the Internet on the New Jersey Legislature’s home page, http://www.njleg.state.nj.us.

The Senate Democratic caucus will begin the legislative session with six new members, and increase its majority in the Senate by one seat. New members will be sworn-in individually, and include: Bob Gordon, D-Bergen; Dana Redd, D-Camden and Gloucester; M. Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex and Union; Brian Stack, D-Hudson; Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May and Cumberland; and Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic.

The Senate Republican caucus is adding nine new members to their roster, including: Bill Baroni, R-Mercer and Middlesex; Kip Bateman, R-Somerset; Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth and Mercer; Chris Connors, R-Ocean, Atlantic and Burlington; Phil Haines, R-Burlington; Sean Kean, R-Monmouth; Steven Oroho, R-Sussex; Kevin O’Toole, R-Essex, Bergen and Passaic; and Joseph Pennaccio, R-Morris and Passaic. Each of the new Republican Senators will also be sworn-in individually.

Returning Senators from both parties will be sworn-in collectively.

Following the oath of office, the Senate will swear in its new majority and minority leaders. Senator Stephen M. Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, will replace retiring Senator Bernard F. Kenny, Jr., D-Hudson, as the new Senate Majority Leader. Senator Tom Kean, Jr., R-Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset, will serve as the new Minority Leader, replacing Senator Leonard Lance, R-Hunterdon and Warren, who will continue to serve the Republican caucus as its chief budgetary officer.

After the reorganization meetings at noon, Senate and Assembly members will reconvene in the Assembly chambers to receive Governor Corzine’s State of the State Address at 3:00 PM.