Leadership Votes At The Statehouse
The Senate and Assembly leadership voted today on their leadership for the 2012-2013 legislative session and maintained the status quo except the Democrats in the State Senate who are expected to make a change.
Statehouse reporter Kevin McArdle writes in his Statehouse Blog today, "State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono will be stripped of her leadership position today and replaced by State Senator Loretta Weinberg. Buono, who is rumored to be a gubernatorial candidate in 2013 has clashed not only with Republican Governor Chris Christie, but also with her fellow Democrat, Senate President Steve Sweeney. She was to be ousted later today regardless of what she wanted, but Buono sent out a letter this morning which makes it seem as though her relegation to the back bench is her choice. It is not."
The Assembly's incoming Democratic Majority Caucus on Thursday chose Sheila Y. Oliver to continue as Assembly Speaker and selected Assembly budget chief Lou Greenwald as the new Assembly Majority Leader. Oliver added that John Wisniewski will serve as a key Assembly Deputy Speaker with expanded duties, Vincent Prieto will become the new Assembly Budget Committee chairman, Jerry Green will continue as Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore and Gordon Johnson will serve as Majority Conference leader.
Senate Republicans will also keep their leadership at the top the same with Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R- 21), continuing to serve as Republican Leader, with Senator Diane Allen (R- 7) serving as Deputy Republican Leader.
Senator Kevin O'Toole (R- 40) will be Republican Whip, Senator Robert Singer (R- 30), Conference Chairman, Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R- 16), Deputy Conference Chairman, and Senator Anthony Bucco (R- 25), the caucus's Budget Officer. All leaders were elected unanimously.
The Assembly Republican caucus re-elected Assemblyman Alex DeCroce as its leader for his fifth consecutive term. Caucus members who were elected on Tuesday unanimously selected DeCroce, who represents the 26th Legislative District (Morris and Passaic Counties).
In addition to DeCroce, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick was re-elected for his second term as conference leader and Assemblyman Dave Rible was selected to serve his second term as whip.