In Brief

Judiciary committee advances former senators’ nominations

By: - January 28, 2022 6:19 am

Kip Bateman (Daniella Heminghaus for New Jersey Monitor)

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nominations Thursday of two former state senators who left the chamber earlier this month.

In a unanimous vote, the panel approved the nomination of former state Sen. Kip Bateman to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield board of directors and former Sen. Dawn Addiego to be Burlington County’s superintendent of elections.

“I’ve known you for many years, and in the short time I’ve served in the Senate, you have been a great resource for me and our caucus,” said Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Morris), a new addition to the Judiciary Committee. “We are certainly going to miss you in the Senate, but I know you are going to go on and do great things on the Horizon board.”

If approved in a vote before the full Senate expected to take place Monday, Bateman, a Somerset County Republican, would take the board seat occupied by former Sen. Joe Kyrillos, who is transitioning into a corporate role on the board.

Bateman would join former Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who resigned from the Legislature in the final days of the lame-duck legislative session earlier this month to take a seat on the Horizon board. Weinberg was appointed to the board by the previous senate president, who is given two direct appointments to the board that do not require Senate approval.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee praised Bateman, who served in the Legislature for 28 years and was the only nominee to come before the panel in person Thursday.

“You’ll certainly be missed,” said Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who sat in on the committee’s meeting. “You did embody what I think people put us down here for, which is to find common-sense solutions for the problems facing the people of the state of New Jersey. You were not afraid to reach across the party aisle to vote for things you thought were appropriate whether or not they were popular in your own caucus.”

Bateman and Weinberg did not seek re-election in November.

Members of Horizon’s board of directors are paid a $77,000 annual retainer, though all but four of the 15 members seated on the 17-member board earned more in 2020, according to financial statements submitted to the Department of Banking and Insurance.

Todd Brown, who now chairs the board, earned $197,500 from his board position, while compensation for others ranged between $92,000 and $152,500. (Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano was appointed to the board on July 30, 2020, and received $31,560 from the position that year.)

Addiego’s appointment as Burlington’s elections superintendent would come with a $94,320 annual salary.

A Democrat, Addiego lost re-election last year to Sen. Jean Stanfield (R-Burlington), a former county sheriff, in what was Addiego’s first campaign as a Democrat. She defected from the Republican Party in January 2019.

The panel also approved appointing former Assemblywoman Linda Stender to be a member of the New Jersey Historic Trust.

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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.

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