State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) has been assigned to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee and the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Senate President Steve Sweeney made Lagana the vice chair of the Law and Public Safety panel.
Sweeney’s decision to make Lagana a vice chair – a relatively insignificant post – is another slap at State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen), who serves on the committee. Sweeney stripped Sacco of his Senate Transportation Committee chair earlier this year under the backdrop of the move to dump Sacco ally Vincent Prieto as Assembly Speaker.
Sacco, elected to the Senate in 1993, is one of the tree Democratic Senators (of 25) without a committee chair or vice chair post. The others are Sweeney – the Senate President typically takes no committee responsibilities – and Richard Codey, a former Senate President and Governor.
Lagana was sworn in to his Senate seat last week to fill the vacancy caused by Bob Gordon’s resignation to join the Board of Public Utilities. He had served as vice chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), who lost his chairmanship of (and his seat on) the Assembly Budget Committee in the Prieto fight, was given Lagana’s Appropriations vice chairmanship by Speaker Craig Coughlin.