For Republicans to reject Gov. Phil Murphy’s nomination of Elizabeth Muoio as state treasurer, five Democratic State Senators would need to refuse to vote yes on her confirmation. That won’t happen unless Senate President Steve Sweeney wants to send a message to Murphy.
GOP State Chairman Doug Steinhardt called on the Senate to reject Muoio’s nomination, and State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) hinted that she would oppose Muoio when the nomination reaches the Senate Judiciary Committee.
To stop Muoio from advancing beyond the Judiciary Committee, Republicans would need to get help from two Democratic Senators. Democrats have a 7-4 majority on the panel.
Sweeney also has the option to just let the nomination remain in Senate purgatory. The Senate President is under no constitutional obligation to ever hold an up or down vote on a gubernatorial nominee. Muoio and other cabinet members can remain on an acting basis for the duration of Murphy’s governorship – with the full legal authority of their appointed position. But once the Senate votes, it’s confirmation or out.
In other words, Muoio, who resigned from the State Assembly in January to become acting state treasurer, only loses her job is Sweeney wants her to.