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Contact: Timothy White | Published On: Thursday, December 16, 2021
Senate’s education leader steps up and moves on

Headed to a leadership post, Sen. Teresa Ruiz reflects on a decade of running education policy


For the past decade as chair of the state Senate’s education committee, Sen. Teresa Ruiz has been called arguably the most influential lawmaker in Trenton when it comes to school matters.

As she soon steps down from that chair to become Senate majority leader, her influence is not all that arguable anymore.

Ruiz (D-Essex) will gavel her committee to order Thursday in what in all likelihood will be her last meeting before taking the new leadership role in the Senate — a promotion that by anyone’s measure will heighten her profile.

But the move at the same time will take her from her familiar place at the head of the dais in a first-floor committee room of the State House, where the panel meets and Ruiz has presided over virtually every big education debate of the last decade in this state, from teacher tenure to testing and standards.


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