Volume 7/Issue 25

  • RCSG's Eric Shuffler Named As Senior Advisor to Murphy Transition Leadership Team
  • Murphy/Oliver Transition Tracker
  • Assemblyman Craig Coughlin to Lead Assembly in 2018-19 Session
  • Murphy, Sweeney and Coughlin Reaffirm Support for $15 Minimum Wage

RCSG’s Eric Shuffler Named As Senior Advisor to Murphy Transition Leadership Team

Governor-Elect Phil Murphy named Eric Shuffler as a member of the Transition’s leadership team on Monday.  Eric will serve as a senior advisor, helping to oversee strategic communications.

Murphy/Oliver Transition Tracker

With the election behind us, we bid farewell to our “Gubernatorial Tidbits” section of the “In the Loop.”  But from now until January 16, we’ll be writing on any announcements from the incoming Murphy/Oliver Administration in our new “Transition Tracker” section.

In addition to naming his transition leadership team, Governor-Elect Murphy announced the memberships of the Transition2018 committees, comprised of more than 500 individuals tasked with conducting policy analysis and developing recommendations on a host of state issues and initiatives as the new administration prepares to take office.  The transition committees are organized by issue, on everything from education to environment and energy to budget to transportation and a host of other subjects. 

The Governor-Elect also tapped Lt. Governor-Elect Sheila Oliver to lead the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) upon taking office.  When the Lt. Governor’s office was created, the enabling statute authorized the person assuming the position to head a cabinet level department.

 “The Department of Community Affairs is critical for partnerships with local government, economic development, and affordable housing priorities, and the depth and breadth of Sheila's experience in local, county, and state government makes her an ideal choice as Commissioner,” said Governor-Elect Murphy.

In addition to appointing the Lt. Governor to head the DCA, Governor-Elect Murphy also named Pete Cammarano and Matt Platkin to the highest staff positions in the Governor’s Office, that of Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel.  Pete previously served as Chief of Staff to former Governor Richard Codey. 

Matt managed the research and policy team for the Murphy for Governor campaign. He has been active in New Jersey and national Democratic politics, working for Senator Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign and serving as an advisor to several state and federal election efforts across the country.  Matt graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he was the Editor of the Law Review.

Assemblyman Craig Coughlin To Lead Assembly in 2018-19 Session

Middlesex County-based Assemblyman Craig Coughlin was elected Speaker for the new legislative session starting on January 9, 2018. The Democrats have led the chamber since 2002 and are expected to have a 54-28 majority for the new legislative session.

In his first comments as speaker, Assemblyman Coughlin promised to make working class New Jerseyans the Assembly’s top priority, with a focus on growing the State's economy.   To the end, he announced that the Assembly would be creating a new standing committee, the Science, Technology and Innovation Committee, that will create legislation designed to put New Jersey at the forefront of emerging industries, utilizing our universities, high schools and business leaders.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald will remain in his position and Essex County-based Assemblywoman Elena Pintor-Marin will become the new Chairwoman of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Murphy, Sweeney and Coughlin Reaffirm Support for $15 Minimum Wage

Following substantial Democratic victories on Election Day, Governor-Elect Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker-Elect Craig Coughlin reaffirmed their commitment to raise the State’s minimum wage to $15 in the new legislative session.  New Jersey’s minimum wage will be $8.60 on January 1.

Though there is commitment to passing legislation, certain details will need to be worked out, especially the timing of the phasing in of the increase (with 3 to 4 years favored by the Governor-Elect and a slightly longer time period favored by the Senate President).  Another major issue is whether agricultural workers and minors will be exempted from the bill. 

The issue is likely to be raised early in the new legislative session and representatives of the business community are expected to mount a vigorous campaign against it.