One individual receiving extraordinarily rave reviews for her role in the state budget process is the new Assembly Budget chair, Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark). She has earned huge points from leaders in both houses of the Legislature, and several key Democrats have begun to tout her as a candidate for higher office, including statewide.
The 37-year-old four-term assemblywoman got the job in January after Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones recommended her to the new Assembly Speaker, Craig Coughlin. The job had been held by Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), who was replaced after picking the wrong horse in the contest for Speaker. Schaer was shown to be entirely replaceable.
Pintor Marin was unflappable during her first year on the job and has emerged as one of the most influential and respected members of the Assembly. With a state government shutdown averted and legislators set to return to Trenton early tomorrow morning to ratify a budget deal, there will be plenty of opportunities to opine on how certain individuals performed during the process, but Pintor Marin is a clear winner.