In recognition of the work he has done to support law enforcement and first responders, Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) received the Legislator of the Year Award at the New Jersey State Policemen Benevolent Association’s 123th Annual Valor Awards Banquet in Atlantic City on Saturday.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Coughlin. “It’s our responsibility in the Legislature to find ways to protect those who protect us by working every day to keep our communities safe. We’ve accomplished just that in the Assembly. Thank you to the NJSPBA for this honor, and congratulations to all of tonight’s recipients for their heroism, bravery and dedication.”
Under Speaker Coughlin’s leadership, the Assembly has passed several pieces of legislation to benefit law enforcement, including bills to give fiduciary control of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System to the police and fire unions; rename Corrections Officers as Corrections Police Officers; and ensure voluntary first responders are awarded appropriate workers compensation. The Legislature also appropriated record payments into the pension system of $3.2 billion last year and $3.8 billion this year.
In naming Speaker Coughlin as Legislator of the Year, NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan said, “You have been a true friend of law enforcement in general and the NJSPBA in particular, especially with your support of our priority legislation. No one has sacrificed more or stood up for New Jersey’s first responders as you have, and in so doing, you have shown great strength and courage on our behalf.”
The reception was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.