Sweeney on committee assignments: Kean gives recommendation, 'but it doesn’t mean I have to agree'
By Matthew Arco | January 1st, 2014 - 2:23pm
| More

EDISON – If another spat is brewing between Senate President Steve Sweeney and the upper chamber’s minority leader, the state’s top senator isn’t prepared just yet to say whether it will come to fruition.

The state’s top lawmaker has yet to send out a committee assignment blueprint for the next legislative session that begins in less than two weeks and he’s unwilling to say for the moment whether he’ll make the committee assignments himself.

“We haven’t done that yet,” responded Sweeney when asked whether he announced the committee makeup.

“We don’t always send them out his early, but we’ll get them out in time,” he said. “You get the letters out, you go to your committees … and everyone serves on the committees they’re assigned.”

The question of whether Sweeney will exert complete control over committee assignments comes a short time after the Senate president slashed $50,000 from Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr.’s (R-21) personal office budget. Sweeney also used his position as Senate president to slash funding for Senate Republicans who were loyal to Kean while also increasing funding for legislators who attempted to oust Kean from his leadership position.

Similarly, Sweeney could use his leadership position to decide which lawmakers serve on which committees.

“I have the authority now and I’ve done that every year since I’ve been Senate president,” he said.

However, the Republican minority leader usually hands the Senate president his committee requests after Sweeney decides the blueprint. The question of whether Sweeney will go along with Kean’s request is yet to be determined.

And Sweeney wouldn’t give an answer when pressed on Wednesday.

“He gives a recommendation,” Sweeney said. “But it doesn’t mean I have to agree.”

When pressed to say whether he would agree with Kean’s recommendations, Sweeney balked at an opportunity to answer.

Sweeney spoke to reporters in Edison while attending the reorganization of the town council following the recent election of a new mayor and three council members.

The South Jersey lawmaker has been making a steady amount of appearances as of late in northern cities and towns at the same time he’s rumored to be mulling a gubernatorial campaign (see The Southern Strategy and the Road to Drumthwacket Victory).

“Middlesex is a very strong Democrat county and I’m the president of the Senate and I’m here supporting my colleagues,” said Sweeney, adding, “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 22nd

Fight of the Week: Donovan v. Pascrell Fight of the Week Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan v. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/79736/fight-week-donovan-v-pascrell     Paramus mayor's race: Candidates in closely-divided Bergen borough spar over taxes, towing issues PARAMUS - When voters go to the polls in November...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"But things get touchy between LaBarbiera and LoCicero when it comes to taxes, the bete noire of politics in the statewide election bellwether, Bergen County."

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Is President Barack Obama too aloof from politics?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources