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Senate President Sweeney Announces New Committee Structure, Committee Chairs

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney today announced the Senate Democratic Leadership team and committee chairs for the 2010-2011 legislative session, saying that the newly-assembled team will provide a diverse outlook on the issues impacting New Jersey’s residents.

“With any transition of power comes a degree of changing of the guard, but I think that we get the best of both worlds with the new Senate Majority leadership,” said Senate President Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “We’ve created new opportunities for diverse voices to be heard while incorporating some of the experience and wisdom of established leaders in the State Senate. I look forward to working with this team to address the issues concerning New Jersey’s residents and help make the Garden State a more affordable place to raise a family.”

Senate President Sweeney said that, in addition to himself, Senator Barbara Buono who was elected to serve as Senate Majority Leader by the Democratic Caucus in November, and Senator Nia H. Gill, who was sworn in as Senate President Pro Temp at yesterday’s reorganization, Senator Paul A. Sarlo will serve as Deputy Majority Leader. In addition to her duties as Majority Leader, Senator Buono will also serve as Majority Conference Leader, a post she held prior to becoming Budget Committee Chairwoman during the last legislative session. Senators Teresa Ruiz and John A. Girgenti will be serving as Assistant Majority Leaders in the new session, and Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham will continue on as the Majority Whip.

“Senators Sarlo, Girgenti and Cunningham have all previously served in the positions they will be taking up in the new legislative term, and have distinguished themselves as leaders of the majority caucus,” noted Senate President Sweeney. “In addition to those three, Senators Teresa Ruiz, Nia Gill and my successor in the Majority Leader position, Senator Barbara Buono, will provide a fresh perspective and a strong dedication to the public good.”

Senate President Sweeney said that the Committee structure in the 214th legislative session would change slightly from the previous legislative session. He added that a few committees would see their focus change, such as the Senate Environment Committee, which will also take up energy issues and be re-named the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, and the Senate State Government Committee, which will absorb the Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee and be re-named the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

In addition to those committee changes, the newly-created Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee would consider measures important to our State’s military families and brave veterans.

The list of Committees, Chairs and Vice Chairs is on the attached table. Senate President Sweeney added that the full Committee membership, as well as group numbers, meeting rooms, and committee aides, would be made public shortly.