Scutari Sworn in as Senate President as New Legislative Session Begins: New Jersey’s new two-year legislative session began last week with the swearing-in of 16 new lawmakers, including New Jersey’s new Senate President, Nicholas Scutari (D- Union).
“I am truly humbled that a poor kid from Linden could grow up someday and be the president of the New Jersey Senate,” said Scutari at his swearing-in ceremony in Trenton last week.
Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) was sworn in as majority leader, replacing Loretta Weinberg, who retired. Ruiz, the former chair of the Senate Education Committee, is now the highest-ranking Latina in the Legislature’s history.
In the Assembly, meanwhile, Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) was sworn in for his third term as Speaker of the State Assembly.
New members of the 220th Legislature include Sen. Edward Durr (R-Gloucester), the South Jersey truck driver who defeated former Senate President Stephen Sweeney in one of the biggest political upsets in state history. In addition, Assemblymembers Shama Haider (D-Bergen) and Sadaf Jaffer (D-Somerset), became the state’s first two Muslim legislators, and Assemblymember Ellen Park (D-Bergen), was sworn in as the first Korean American legislator.
Murphy’s Victory Powered by NJ’s Wealthiest and Most Well-Educated Towns: According to a recent article published by New Jersey Globe, Governor Murphy’s re-election in November can be partially attributed to his high performance in wealthy, well-educated, suburban municipalities like Glen Ridge, Mountain Lakes, Tenafly, and Milburn.
The state’s 15 wealthiest and best-educated municipalities, defined as having a
medium-income and bachelor’s degree attainment rate within the top 25 statewide, voted for Murphy by a 16-point margin, with the Governor winning 10 of the15 municipalities.
Murphy’s performance in these suburban municipalities is notable, given that he won statewide by only three points, but Murphy’s performance is even more impressive when compared to previous close gubernatorial races.
In 2009, Republican Gov. Chris Christie won 12 of the 15 municipalities by a combined margin of 11 percent, on his way to a four-point win statewide. These wealthy, well-educated towns of New Jersey were once the state’s GOP bedrock, providing huge margins that launched moderate Republicans into statewide office.
NJ Online Sportsbooks and Retail Sportsbooks Attract more than $1 Billion for 4th Straight Month: According to recently released numbers from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks attracted more than $1 billion in wagers for the fourth month in a row. December ended a remarkable year in which New Jersey firmed its status as the nation’s largest sports betting market.
For the year, New Jersey’s retail and online sportsbooks produced:
- $10.9 billion in online and retail wagers, the most of any U.S. state in 2021. Volume was up 81.8% from $6.0 billion in 2020;
- $9.5 billion in online wagers, up 79.9% from $5.5 billion in 2020;
- $815.8 million in gross revenue, up 104.7% from $398.5 million in 2020;
- $986.8 million in retail wagers, up 99.1% from $486.7 million in 2020;
- $122 million in state and local taxes, up 104.7% from $59.6 million in 2020.
In case you missed it, click here to view Governor Murphy’s 2022 State of the State Address.