Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) announced Friday that Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck) has been appointed chairman of the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee.
"This committee has an important charge, and that is to examine ways to improve the state's economic well-being," Prieto said in a statement. "Many New Jerseyans are having a hard time making ends meet under an economy that remains sluggish. I trust that this committee, with Assemblyman Johnson at the helm, will work diligently so we can make some real, significant strides in our economic recovery."
In a statement, Johnson added that the state is "only as strong as our economy" and that currently, "we are lagging behind."
"We must make New Jersey more attractive to companies looking to do business in and looking to grow their business in the state, especially in areas of the state that have been stagnant for too long," Johnson said. "I will work with the rest of the committee to create opportunities that will help spur development, create jobs, make a dent on our unemployment numbers and help boost our economy."
The committee has been without a designated chairman since former Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, a Newark Democrat, resigned in September shortly before pleading guilty to stealing funds from his family's charitable foundation filing false financial disclosure forms with the Legislature.
Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-Ridgefield) will now serve as the committee's vice-chair, a spot formerly held by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton).