TRENTON – Sen. Stephen Sweeney and Shelia Oliver were both elected unanimously by the caucuses as Senate President and house speaker, respectively.
Both of them along with other Democratic leaders held an afternoon press conference to show a united front, promising to fight for their poor and middle-class constituencies.
The leaders pledged to continue fighting for them, trying to create jobs and strengthen the economy.
They made no secret of introducing the millionaire’s tax in the near future.
“We have an obligation to raise that issue,” Oliver said.
Christie vetoed the tax at every turn.
There were some changes in other key positions. Vincent Prieto will be the new Budget Committee chairman, replacing Assemblyman Lou Greenwald. Gordon Johnson will be conference leader.
Loretta Weinberg will be the Senate majority leader.
Sen. Paul Sarlo will remain budget committee chairman.
Sen. Barbara Buono was not present, with Sweeney saying about her not retaining her majority leader position, “The caucus unanimously made the decision…The caucus unanimously supported Loretta Weinberg.”
They added that since there are more Democrats in the Legislature than before Election Day, it amounts to a rejection of the Christie agenda.
“He was resoundingly rejected,” Greenwald said.
Sarlo added, “His policies are not working.”