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TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney today announced the Democratic leadership team and committee memberships for the 217th Legislative Session. The Senate leadership was sworn in yesterday at the Senate’s organizational meeting.

“This is the best leadership team the people of New Jersey could have,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “They know the issues, they understand the challenges we face and they are committed to making real progress in ways that move the state forward and expand opportunities for everyone. They possess a standard of excellence that will continue to make the Legislature proud.”

The Senate Democratic Majority reelected Senate President Sweeney in November. At that time, Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) was elected to serve as Majority Leader. Senator Nia Gill (D-Essex) will continue as Senate President Pro Tempore. Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen/Passaic) was reappointed as Deputy Majority Leader.

“We have a strong and diverse caucus that is dedicated to working aggressively to address the issues that are important to middle-class families, the working poor and our most vulnerable residents,” said Senator Weinberg. “I am pleased to continue to serve as Majority Leader and look forward to continuing to make New Jersey a better place for our residents to live. We will continue to fight for the policies that we believe in and that our constituents sent us here to advance.”

Senator Bob Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic) will continue serving in the post of Democratic Conference Chair, where he leads the discussion on legislation during party caucuses.

Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer) and Senator Jim Beach (D-Camden) will once again serve as assistant majority leaders. Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D-Hudson) will return as majority whip.

The committee chairs for the 2016-2017 legislative session will remain as follows: Senator Paul A. Sarlo will serve as chair of Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee; Senator Nicholas Scutari as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senator Nicholas Sacco as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee; Senator Linda Greenstein as chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee; Senator M. Teresa Ruiz as chair of the Senate Education Committee; Senator Jim Whelan as chair of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee; Senator Raymond J. Lesniak as chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee; Senator Jeff Van Drew as chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee; Senator Fred H. Madden as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee; Senator Bob Smith as chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee; Senator Nia H. Gill as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee; Senator Jim Beach as chair of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee; Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham as chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee; Senator Joseph Vitale as chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee; and Senator Gordon, as chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee.

See also: VIDEO – Sweeney Addresses Senate as New Session Begins