New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D) visited Rowan University on Monday, April 18, at the business hall in the Rohrer College of Business at 7 p.m. to address the state of New Jersey politics as it is now.
The event was free and open to the public, sponsored by Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC).
Nicholas Scutari is a lifelong resident of Linden, New Jersey. After earning his bachelor’s in psychology at Kean University and his master’s of education at Rutgers University, Scutari earned his law degree at Western Michigan University.
Scutari has been an Eagle Scout since 1984, and he was always heavily involved with his community when he was young— going on to later serve in the world of politics.
Scutari’s public service career began to bloom in 1994 when he served on the Linden Board of Education, later stepping down in 1997.
From then on, Scutari was vice-chair of the Linden Board of Education in 1998, promoted to Chair in 1999, served on the Union County Board of Freeholders from 1997 to 2004, served on the Union County Planning Board from 2000 to 2004, and has been the City of Linden Prosecutor since 2003.
In addition to his achievements, Scutari has been active in the senate since 2004 and was recently promoted to Senate President in 2022.
During his meeting with Rowan students on Monday, Scutari addressed the following topics: the economy, COVID-19 and COVID relief, insurance, the legalization of marijuana, the upcoming Senate year, division in the state and nation, progress being made in New Jersey and the nation, and various questions submitted by the audience.
According to a pamphlet handed out during the event, “As Senator to the 22nd Legislative District, Senator Scutari is a strong advocate for insurance reform and has sponsored legislation to create a more consumer-friendly environment.”
Scutari opened up by addressing the state of the country, according to his beliefs and understandings.
“I can’t probably say this clearly enough. This country is fractured. It’s pretty divided when it comes to our politics,” Scutari said.
Scutari did note the progression New Jersey has made over the past few years, balancing the achievements and setbacks the state has seen while addressing the public.
One of Scutari’s most notable achievements is the legalization of marijuana which has faced a lot of criticism amongst citizens and Government officials.
Despite conflicting criticism, the Scutari is proud of all the progress made. New Jersey has some of the most diverse representatives in the country.
“When you’re talking about politics, it’s not all about good policy. It’s how you message that public policy. So if you have good government, you want to direct that to the people that will listen to you. I can tell you that part of my new process as Senate President was assembling the most diverse leadership teams in the history of the state of New Jersey,” Scutari said.
Along with diversity, the relationship between senators is one of the most critical aspects of the job.
“We enjoy a brief, professional atmosphere amongst the Senators,” Scutari said.
Ending on a high note, Scutari shared his aspirations and hopes for the future of New Jersey.
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