Upper house

Swain set to chair Assembly Appropriations Committee

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin is expected to appoint Lisa Swain, a three-term Democrat from Bergen County, to chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Swain will replace John Burzichelli, who lost his re-election bid for an 11th term last November.

The choice reflects a renewed relationship between the counties of Bergen and Middlesex. Swain was chosen by Democratic Bergen County Chairman Paul Juliano, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The Bergen delegation had largely backed Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto in his unsuccessful re-election bid against Coughlin after the 2017 election. the Assembly. Instead, the job went to Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Newark).

It will be the first time that both committees that authorize state spending have been chaired by a woman since Barbara Faith Kalik (D-Willingboro) chaired the Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee in 1991.

Swain, 63, spent nearly a decade on Fair Lawn Township Council and was mayor in 2018 when a sequence of events triggered two open seats in the Assembly.

After State Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) was confirmed as a member of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Bergen County Democrats chose Assemblyman Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) for replace him in the State Senate.

Almost simultaneously, Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Maywood), who had also sought the Senate seat, resigned to take up a position on the North Jersey District Water Commission.

Swain and former Bergenfield alderman Christopher Tully won special electoral conventions to replace Lagana and Eustace in the Assembly.

Tully is expected to chair the Assembly’s committee on science, innovation and technology. He will replace Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick), who took his seat in the state Senate this week.

Bergen claimed key assignments to upper house committees this week, with Senate Speaker Nicholas Scutari giving Lagana a bench seat and assigning freshman Sen. Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) to the Senate Budget Committee and credits. This panel is chaired by State Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).