Ruiz, Pou Legislation to Increase Diversity on State Boards and Commissions Advances

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Trenton – In an effort to increase diversity in appointments, the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Nellie Pou which would require the consideration of racial and gender diversity when making appointments to certain boards and commissions.

“Currently, state boards and commissions fail to reflect New Jersey’s rich diversity,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “We must ensure women and people of color are included in the composition of these highly influential decision-making bodies who have a major impact on the day to day operations of our state. Through this legislation we can help to bring more diverse perspectives and have all of New Jersey to the table, ultimately leading to better results for everyone involved.”

The bill, S-1681, would require the Governor, Senate President, Speaker or any other person appointing a member to a board, commission or task force established by law to consider gender and racial diversity in their selection.

“We should be doing everything in our power to appoint leaders and decision makers who reflect the make-up of our communities,” said Senator Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen). “This bill will further efforts to increase diversity on state boards and commissions, building upon previous legislation which created a database to allow for greater transparency around the demographics of such appointments.”

The bill would take effect immediately and apply to appointments made following enactment.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-0.