January 13, 2012Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce PassesAs the 214 th Legislature concluded its business late Monday night, Assembly Minority LeaderAlex DeCroce collapsed and died before leaving the Statehouse. A dedicated public servant fordecades, and a member of the Legislature for the past 23 years, Alex DeCroce served admirablyas the Republican minority leader since 2003. DeCroce leaves behind a proud legacy includinghis strong advocacy for transportation funding and victim’s rights. We extend our sincerecondolences to the DeCroce family.215 th Legislature OrganizesThe 215 th Legislature organized at noon on Tuesday. The reorganization was significantly scaledback due to the sudden passing of Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce at the close ofMonday evening’s voting session. Democrats continue to control the Assembly by a margin of48-32 and the Senate by a margin of 24-16. The Assembly Speaker continues to beAssemblywoman Sheila Oliver and the Assembly Majority Leader is now Assemblyman LouisGreenwald. Assemblyman Gerald Green will continue to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore.Assemblyman Jon Bramnick is expected to be elected Assembly Minority Leader. The SenatePresident continues to be Senator Stephen Sweeney and Senator Loretta Weinberg is the newSenate Majority Leader. Senator Thomas Kean, Jr. will continue to serve as Senate MinorityLeader. Senator Nia Gill will continue to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore.Three new Senators, all former Assembly members, were sworn in on Tuesday: James Holzapfel(R-10), Samuel Thompson (R-12) and Nellie Pou (D-35.) Thirteen new Assembly members weresworn in on Tuesday: Chris Brown (R-2), Christopher J. Brown (R-8), Gregory McGuckin (R-10), Robert Clifton (R-12), Jack Ciatarelli (R-16), Sean Kean (R-30), Angelica Jimenez (D-32),Sean Connors (D-33), Shavonda Sumter (D-35), Benjie Wimberley (D-35), Marlene Caride (D-36), Timothy Eustace (D-38) and Holly Schepisi (R-39.) Gabriella Mosquera (D-4), who waselected in November, was not sworn in because of a challenge to her residency currently makingits way through the courts. There are two Republican vacancies; in the 16 th District where areplacement must be selected for the late Assemblyman Peter Biondi and in the 25 th Districtwhere a replacement must be selected for the late Assemblyman Alex DeCroce.Senator Paul Sarlo will continue to serve as Chairman of the Senate Budget and AppropriationsCommittee and Assemblyman Vincent Prieto will serve as Chairman of the Assembly BudgetCommittee. Assemblyman John Burzichelli will replace Senator Nellie Pou as Chairman of theAssembly Appropriations Committee. The Senate created one new committee, Higher Education,
to be chaired by Senator Sandra Cunningham. Senator Donald Norcross will now chair the Lawand Public Safety Committee, Senator Robert Gordon will now chair the Legislative OversightCommittee and Senator Joseph Vitale will once again chair the Senate Health Committee. TheAssembly also created one new committee, Women and Children, to be chaired byAssemblywoman Pamela Lampitt. The Higher Education Committee will now be chaired byAssemblywoman Celeste Rile, the Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will now bechaired by Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, the Law and Public Safety Committee will now bechaired by Assemblyman Charles Mainor, the Regulated Professions Committee will now bechaired by Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee will nowbe chaired by Assemblyman Cleopatra Tucker and the Environment and Solid Waste Committeewill now be chaired by Assemblywoman Grace Spencer.Senate Confirms Chiesa to Serve as Attorney GeneralPrior to adjourning sine die on Monday evening the Senate confirmed Governor Christie’snomination of Jeff Chiesa to serve as Attorney General. Chiesa has served as Chief Counsel tothe Governor since January 2010. Prior to that, Chiesa served as Executive Director of GovernorChristie's Transition Team and was previously a partner at the law firm of Wolff & Samson intheir litigation group.Prior to joining Wolff & Samson, Chiesa worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District ofNew Jersey from 2002 to 2009, last serving as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney. He alsoserved as Counsel to the U.S. Attorney and as Chief of the Public Protection Unit. Chiesa wasinvolved in all aspects of the U.S. Attorney's Office, including the management of the Criminal,Civil, Appeals and Special Prosecutions (Corruption) Divisions. He is a graduate of theUniversity of Notre Dame where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration inAccounting. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America.Christie to Deliver State of the State; Assembly to hold Formal Reorganization CeremonyGovernor Christie will deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislatureon Tuesday, January 17 at 3:00 pm. The Governor was to deliver the State of the State address onJanuary 10 but it was postponed due to the death of Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce.Prior to the State of the State, the Assembly will hold the formal reorganization ceremonyoriginally scheduled for January 10. That ceremony will take place at noon at the War Memorial.Sweeney Announces Senate ScheduleSenate President Stephen Sweeney announced the following meeting schedule for January –March:January 23January 30February 6February 9February 13February 16February 21February 27March 5Group 3 and 4 CommitteesGroup 1 and 2 CommitteesGroup 3 and 4 CommitteesGroup 1 and 2 CommitteesVoting SessionGroup 3 and 4 CommitteesGovernor’s Budget AddressGroup 1 and 2 CommitteesGroup 3 and 4 Committees
March 8 Group 1 and 2 CommitteesMarch 15 Voting SessionOliver Announces Assembly ScheduleSpeaker Sheila Oliver announced the following meeting schedule for January – March:January 30February 2February 6February 16February 21March 5March 8March 12March 15Group A and B CommitteesGroup C and D CommitteesCommittees at the call of the Speaker; QuorumVoting SessionGovernor’s Budget AddressGroup A and B CommitteesGroup C and D CommitteesCommittees at the Call of the Speaker/QuorumVoting SessionBodman to Appear on WNETPublic Strategies Impact Senior Partner Roger Bodman will appear on NJ Today, the eveningnews program of NJTV, tonight. Bodman will also provide commentary on the Governor’s Stateof the State address for NJTV on Tuesday afternoon and will appear on NJ Today on Tuesdaynight, January 17.