State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa), who has for over a year blocked acting Commissioner of Education Angelica Allen-McMillan’s nomination to the role she already holds, said yesterday that she currently has no plans to let Allen-McMillan through anytime soon.
“Nothing has changed on that, nor do I see it changing in the foreseeable future,” Corrado said.
Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Allen-McMillan to lead the Department of Education in October 2020, succeeding now-President of Kean University Lamont Repollet. After months of holding the role in an acting capacity, Allen-McMillan got senatorial courtesy from Essex County’s four Democratic senators and was set for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in June 2021, after which she presumably would have been confirmed with little issue.
But shortly before she was due to appear, the New Jersey Globe reported that she had recently moved from Montclair to Cedar Grove, which is part of the 40th legislative district and thus gave Corrado, a Republican, courtesy over her nomination. Corrado had not been informed of the move until the Globe reported on it, and said yesterday that the lack of honesty remains a factor in her deliberations.
“They weren’t honest about the move,” Corrado said. “That troubles me.”
Since the “acting” in front of Allen-McMillan’s title has no impact on her authority leading the Department of Education, Corrado’s hesitance to support her won’t affect the running of state government – something that isn’t true of other Senate-confirmed roles like judgeships. Still, as the Murphy administration tries to fully kick its second term into gear, the lack of Senate confirmation for Allen-McMillan, acting Attorney General Matt Platkin, and acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh is notable.
At yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, another Murphy cabinet member, acting Secretary of State Tahesha Way, was approved unanimously and is likely on her way to her second Senate confirmation tomorrow. (Unlike most cabinet positions, the Secretary of State needs to be renominated every gubernatorial term.)
Way, a resident of Wayne, also had to get courtesy from Corrado, who withheld her support for several months; Corrado said yesterday that she was waiting to meet with Way and discuss election security before signing off on her nomination.