CIG Insider - Winter Edition 2015

CIG Insider – Winter Edition 2015

Movers and Shakers
The Governor’s Office recently made several staff changes in the Office of Policy and Planning and the Office of Community and Constituent Relations.  Peter Simon and Emily Baggett have been named Senior Policy Analysts, while former Assembly Republican Budget Director Jerry Traino was tapped as the Governor’s new Budget Director.  Nick DiRocco will head up the newly formed Office of Constituent and Community Relations, with former Assistant Counsel Hillary Hewit and Vincent Funelas serving as Deputy Directors.
Senate President Steve Sweeney has announced several new hires to the Senate Majority Office staff.  Former Gibbons PC attorney Fruqan Mouzon has been appointed General Counsel; Alan Weinberg has been tapped to be Director of Operations; Mark Magyar has been named Director of Policy and Communications for the Senate President; Roslyn J. Smith has been appointed Assistant Director for Constituent Relations; Rose Farias, Elizabeth Mahn, and Keri Salerno have joined the team as Research Specialists; and Zainab Chaudary and Katia Diaz have been named Communications Specialists.


Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley officially announced his intention to run for the State Assembly in the 20th Legislative District.  Holley, a Democrat serving in his first term as mayor, is running for the seat that was vacated by Union County Sheriff and former Assemblyman Joseph Cryan.


In Bergen County, Michael Pagan, who previously served as Press Secretary for NJ’s General Assembly has been tapped to serve as County Executive Jim Tedesco’s County Public Information Officer and Division Director for the Office of Public Information.  Additionally, Alicia D’Alessandro, former Communications Director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, has accepted the position of Communications Director for Tedesco.



 State House Happenings


Calling for “a New Jersey renewal and an American renewal,” Governor Chris Christie delivered his 2015 State of the State of the Address to a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature today, focusing on economic growth, continued pension and benefit reforms, and an expansion of drug treatment programs.

Governor Christie, who is expected to declare his presidential candidacy within the next month, delivered a speech that reiterated his achievements of the past five years while focusing on broad national themes of fiscal responsibility, economic development and urban renewal.

Touting the successful expansion of the drug court system, Governor Christie called for new policies to streamline drug treatment and expand offender re-entry programs to five major cities.  The Governor highlighted his partnership with Democrats in Camden, including Mayor Dana Redd, in improving education, reducing crime, and creating jobs.

Finally, while the Governor did not detail any specific proposals in his speech, he stated that the bipartisan pension commission is crafting reforms to address the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. Leaders of the Democrat-controlled Legislature have vowed to push back against any further reductions to state employees’ health and benefits packages.

Click here to read the text of the Governor’s 2015 State of the State address.

Freshmen NJ Members of Congress
As the 114th session of Congress convened last week, three New Jersey members took the oath of office in the nation’s Capital for the first time-Congressman Donald Norcross (CD 1), Congressman Tom MacArthur (CD 3) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (CD 12).  Congressman Norcross and Congresswoman Watson-Coleman were selected by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the House Armed Services and the House Homeland Security Committees, respectively.  Congressman MacArthur, a Republican, was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.Several New Jersey political operatives and government officials have been appointed to staff the Washington, DC and New Jersey district offices:

Congressman Donald Norcross

Michael Maitland, Chief of Staff,

Amanda Caruso and Fran Tagmire, NJ District Directors.

Congressman Tom MacArthur

Ryan Carney, Chief of Staff

Frank Luna, NJ Chief of Staff

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman

James Gee, Chief of Staff

Kari Osmond, NJ District Director

Joel A Griffith, Special Assistant

 Client Spotlight 


The National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA) is an independent, non-profit association representing providers and practitioners in the 403(b) marketplace, which includes hundreds of New Jersey small businesses.  NTSA members provide retirement services to more than 80% of New Jersey’s 600+ school districts and manage more than $2 billion in New Jersey retirement savings.