(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats issued a multimedia package Tuesday on the new Democratic leadership team for the 215th Legislature.
The team includes Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden), Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Somerset/Middlesex), Majority Conference Leader Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen), Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen).
The multimedia package consists of a video of the members of leadership each offering a brief explanation of what their position entails as well as what they hope to bring to the table in their new roles, and audio and a transcript of same.
The video can be accessed directly via our website – www.assemblydems.com – or by pasting the following link into a Web browser: http://vimeo.com/35058833
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the Democratic leadership team is appended below:
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic):
“Being Speaker is sort of like, to use a very common analogy, it’s like being the traffic cop of the Assembly. It is my job to develop a legislative agenda for the majority caucus; to identify bills that will be heard in committee; to assign and reference bills to various committees. The Speaker possesses the authority and power to determine which bills get posted for a full vote of the Legislature.
“My leadership slate going into the 215th session will have Assemblyman Lou Greenwald as the Majority Leader.”
Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden):
“Majority Leader is the second-rank position in the General Assembly. It leads the Democratic caucus behind the Speaker.
“I’ve chaired the Budget Committee and I’ve been now honored with the new roll and title of Majority Leader. I don’t think that my style is going to change. I’m a consensus builder; I love working with people; I love working with people across the political aisles. My goal is to bring consensus; my goal is to find solutions to the problems that plague our state.”
“Gordon Johnson, who hails from Bergen County, will be joining the legislative leadership team. Gordon will serve as our Conference Leader.”
Assembly Majority Conference Leader Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen):
“The Conference Chair sets the tenor, sets the tone for the caucus, the Democratic caucus.
“I will be the leader… I will be keeping the caucus organized, keeping the conversations flowing, keeping the debate flowing, ensure that it is a debate so that we hear all sides of the issue of a bill or a situation and to ensure that all the voices are heard and all ideas are brought out.”
“We also have expanded the role of Deputy Speaker, which will be filled by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, another veteran of the Legislature.”
Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex):
“The Speaker runs the meetings and there are often times where there are other obligations, whether there is a question on a bill, that takes the Speaker momentarily away from the podium. So, one of the chief responsibilities of a Deputy Speaker is to serve on the podium in place of the Speaker.
“But there are countless meetings; there are negotiations; there are so many issues that go into crafting legislation and successfully moving it forward and my roll will be to help in each and every one of those.”
“Vincent Prieto will assume the leadership of the Budget Committee.”
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), Assembly Budget Committee Chair:
“The Budget chairman sets the schedule on budget hearings and how the budget is run and works to deliver a balanced budget to the governor’s desk to be signed.
“I’m very excited about this new leadership position.”
“Rounding out that team will be Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green, who is a 24-year veteran of the Legislature.”
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset):
“I’m somewhat lost with words because of the fact that, overnight, I’m the senior member up here. This is going to be my 11th term. But I’m going to get right to the point: I’m so proud of Sheila. I’m proud of the fact that… what she’s gone through in the last two years.
“I think the Speaker has put together, with the Senate President, a team that cares about the people here in the State of New Jersey. We’re going to get the job done.”
“I believe that this legislative team represents a broad cross-section geographically, ideologically and philosophically of the Democratic Assembly.”