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Gov. Phil Murphy holds his weekly press briefing in Trenton on July 19, 2021. (Photo: Ashley Gallagher for the New Jersey Globe.)

Murphy not worried about backup on Senate confirmations

More than 100 appointees await Senate approval, some for more that a year

By Ashley Gallagher, July 19 2021 5:06 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy is not overly concerned about 127 nominations being backlogged, just before the November election.

“I think we’ve made a lot of good progress particularly over the past six to 12 months,” he said at his weekly press briefing on Monday.

The legislature is on its customary summer break and the nominations still range widely, while some have been awaiting confirmation for over a year. Lawmakers are not expected to return until after the 2021 November election and Murphy wouldn’t say if thinks the Senate should be called back before November.

He praised Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Judiciary Chairman, Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) on their partnership to keep the ball moving on the nominations, saying confirmations are headed in the right direction and believes they will be able to continue to move the numbers.

Any nominees who are not approved before the start of the next legislative session will see their nominations expire. That won’t mean much if Murphy wins another term, although the governor isn’t obligated to renominate anyone next year.

If Republican Jack Ciattarelli wins, Democrats would have a two-month lame duck session to confirm nominees.  After that, the picks would belong to Ciattarelli.

The New Jersey Globe reported last week that more than 100 nominees multiple state boards, commissions, authorities and other panels are awaiting confirmation.

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