Most of the attention has been on the battle for power between Steve Sweeney and Dick Codey, but with a new Senate President comes many new committee chairs and PolitickerNJ had some information yesterday:
State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) will become the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position that will take on increased clout for a Democratic-controlled Senate confirming appointments made by a Republican governor. Scutari was no pushover for Gov. Jon Corzine’s appointees – he takes his advise and consent responsibilities seriously, and does not view Judiciary as a rubber stamp. That’s something Gov.-elect Christopher Christie’s front office will need to take into consideration And Scutari is intellectually superior to the current chairman, State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).
Sarlo is expected to become Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee when State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) becomes Majority Leader.
And it looks like could be someone new leading the Education committee as well:
And in the Senate, it looks like Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), a protégé of Newark political leader Stephen Adubato, might replace Shirley Turner (D-Lawrence) as chairman of the Education Committee. A fair assumption is that Ruiz will share Adubato’s fervent support for charter schools.
Turner could wind up a casualty of the contest for Senate President; she backed incumbent Richard Codey (D-Roseland), while Ruiz supported the likely winner, Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford).
We’ll have to see who is left without a seat when the music stops. And we still get to play more games before the music stops on the Assembly side. The leadership vote is scheduled for November 23.