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(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblywoman Celeste Riley has been appointed chairwoman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee for the 2012-13 legislative session.
Riley was appointed to the role – her first assignment as a committee chair – by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) and the Assembly Democratic leadership team.
“Higher education and its affordability are top priorities of this Democratic caucus, and we are confident Assemblywoman Riley, with her vast education experience, is the perfect choice to lead this committee at this crucial time,” Greenwald said. “New Jersey’s middle-class and poor families are struggling daily to make ends meet, and the rising cost of college and cuts in tuition aid during the last two years don’t make things easier. Assemblywoman Riley knows this and is ready to push New Jersey in the right direction.”
“With 31 public colleges and universities, including its 19 county and community colleges, New Jersey has a wide-ranging and varying higher education system, but worries about increasing costs and concerns about the future of our colleges have never been higher,” said Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We have to make sure we provide viable tuition aid to our families and put the right plans in place for our college facilities and major projects such as the medical school at Rowan University. Our colleges not only build strong futures for our children, but they are vital economic engines for our state, and we must position them to succeed. The emerging global economy demands nothing less.”
Riley was also named vice-chairwoman of the Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee and will also serve on the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.
Riley, of Bridgeton, was first sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly on March 16, 2009, filling the unexpired term of Douglas J. Fisher, who resigned to become the New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture. Riley was elected to her first full term on November 3, 2009 and re-elected last fall.
Riley received her Bachelor of Arts in music from LaSalle University; and her Master of Science in arts administration from Drexel University. She is a teacher at Morris Goodwin Elementary School.
Riley represents the 3rd Legislative District, which includes the Cumberland County municipalities of Bridgeton, Deerfield and Upper Deerfield; the Gloucester County municipalities of Clayton, East Greenwich, Elk, Franklin, Glassboro, Greenwich, Logan, National Park, Newfield, Paulsboro, South Harrison, Swedesboro, West Deptford, Woodbury Heights and Woolwich; and all of Salem County.