TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg today were reelected by the 25 members of the Senate Democratic Majority to serve in the top leadership positions for the new 218th Legislature, and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz was voted by the caucus members to serve as Senate President Pro Temp.
Senator Sweeney filled the leadership team by selecting Senator Paul Sarlo as Deputy Majority Leader and chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee; Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham as Deputy Majority Leader and chair of the Higher Education Committee, and Senator Nicholas Scutari as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
“I am grateful for the unified support of my Democratic colleagues and proud to have the opportunity to continue to work with a distinguished team of leaders and an extraordinary group of senators,” said Senator Sweeney. “We have real challenges ahead but we also have opportunities to address the priorities and needs of the people of New Jersey. We are united in our determination to move the state forward in ways that create opportunities for everyone.”
The Democratic Majority will include Senator-elect Joe Cryan, Senator-elect Troy Singleton and Senator-elect Vin Gopal, all newly elected. The Democratic majority in the upper house increased from 24 to 25 members.
“I want to thank my colleagues for their confidence and for the opportunity to serve the caucus as Majority Leader for another term,” said Senator Weinberg. “Senate Democrats are committed to addressing the pressing issues that face our state’s residents and to improving the lives of children, working-families and the most vulnerable in New Jersey. We are proud to welcome new members as we prepare for a new legislative session. The 25 members of our caucus represent a diverse cross section of our state. They are hard-working and steadfast in their commitment to fight for the policies that our residents deserve.”
“It is an honor to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as Senate President Pro Temp,” said Senator Ruiz, who will continue as chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Our caucus is committed to working to address the challenges facing families in the state and to improving the quality of life for all residents.”
“There are many fiscal and economic challenges before us but our caucus is prepared to continue the hard work needed to advance an agenda of progress,” said Senator Sarlo. “We need to be smart and responsible in managing state resources and in making the investments that will spur economic growth and opportunity.”
“We are committed to continuing our work to create economic opportunities for our residents, and that means making sure that everyone has access to educational programs, jobs and the resources they need to succeed,” said Senator Cunningham. “I am proud to be part of this team and to continue to serve as chair of the Higher Education Committee. I look forward to our work ahead.”
“It is a privilege to continue to serve in this role,” said Senator Scutari, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We have important issues to address, and I look forward to working together with my Senate Democratic colleagues in the new legislative session to improve the state by focusing on the issues that matter to residents.”