Coughlin to Lead Assembly Panel on Banking, Finance and Insurance

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Craig Coughlin was named as chair of the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee for the 216th session of the legislature.

Coughlin replaces Assemblyman Gary Schaer, who will take the helm as chair of the Assembly Budget Committee this session.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto cites Coughlin’s exemplary work on the Assembly Regulated Professions and the Assembly Labor Committee during last session.

“Assemblyman Coughlin’s legal acumen pared with his steadfast advocacy for business and industry,” said Prieto (D-Bergen, Hudson). “He is prepared to take on the issues of two of the more vital industries in the state and their impact on all New Jerseyans.”

“I thank the General Assembly leadership of Speaker Vincent Prieto and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald for giving me the opportunity to lead the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee,” said Coughlin (D- Middlesex). “I truly appreciate their confidence in my abilities to lead such a significant committee.”

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee is responsible for issues such as banking, finance, trusts and estates, auto insurance, liability insurance, life insurance, product liability, property insurance, and tort reform.

Coughlin notes that the purview of Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee is enormous and will demand thoughtful and deliberative discussion where any action taken must reflect the importance of these industries on the New Jersey economy, but more importantly, the people of this State who interface with financial institutions and the insurance industry on a day-to-day basis.

“Among the many issues the committee will review is the rise in automobile insurance rates, of which millions of New Jerseyans are responsible for purchasing regardless of their ability to pay and the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, which has and continues to change the insurance industry,” said Coughlin. “It will be important to monitor its implementation for New Jersey consumers and businesses.

“Also, nationwide, we have been saddened to learn of instances where consumers’ personal and financial data has been compromised, lost or stolen. The result to our friends and neighbors has been a steep financial and emotional price for these breaches.

“Over these next few months, I will be meeting with stakeholders from the banking, insurance and real estate industry about the important issues and challenges they face while at the same time being mindful of the impact on New Jersey families.”

Coughlin also will serve on the Assembly Labor Committee. Mr. Coughlin represents the 19th Legislative District, which includes the Middlesex County municipalities of Carteret, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy and Woodbridge.