Democrats Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) and Fred Madden (D-Washington) and Republicans Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) and Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) have scored seats on the powerful New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republicans Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) was not renamed to the Judiciary Committee. The other Republican seat had been held by Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), who did not seek re-election last year.
The new Senate Judiciary Chairman is Brian P. Stack (D-Union City). He was picked for the post last November as part of a coalition that propelled the longtime chairman of the panel, Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) to the Senate presidency.
Scutari has given up his Judiciary seat. The second Democratic vacancy on the panel came with the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck).
Lagana had previously served on Judiciary before then-Senate President Steve Sweeney removed him after a fight over school vaccinations. Scutari has now returned him to the post. Madden, the Gloucester County Democratic Chairman, is the only new Judiciary panel member who is not an attorney.
Democrats have an 8-4 majority on the Judiciary Committee, which must approve nominations of cabinet members, judges, prosecutors and other officials by the governor.
Democrats Nellie Pou (D-North Haledon), Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), Troy Singleton (D-Delran), and Robert Smith (D-Piscataway), and Republicans Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) and Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa), are returning to the committee.