NJBIA's Annual Public Policy Forum - Planning Prosperity REGISTER NOW

NJBIA’s Government Affairs Policy Committee held a virtual meeting last week to discuss the importance of the state board appointments process with Sam Parker, Director of Appointments for the Murphy administration.

Parker discussed the need for and importance of having a diverse, qualified group of individuals serve on the hundreds of state boards and commissions. She outlined the appointment process in the following steps:

Candidates’ resumes are collected, and a follow-up questionnaire is sent to those candidates to assess their interests and experiences.

  • Once candidates return the questionnaire, Parker’s team vets the candidates through a thorough background check in which they attempt to verify a candidate’s level of integrity and qualifications. Parker made special note that in the modern age, the process also includes a check of whether the candidate has made any disparaging or inappropriate comments on social media.
  • Although the financial component of the questionnaire can seem discouraging, especially within economically disadvantaged communities, Parker explained that the office’s focus is not on how much money a candidate earns, but rather to ensure there are no conflicts of interest present for the candidate.
  • Once the background check is completed, Parker and her team make recommendations to the governor. If the governor agrees, the candidate is nominated and becomes a member of a board or commission.
  • In some cases, appointments are subject to advice and consent from the Senate, which makes the process slightly more arduous. In these circumstances, candidates receive a questionnaire from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Candidates must also receive approval from their county senators due to the longstanding practice of senatorial courtesy in New Jersey.
  • Once a candidate gets support from their senators and completes their questionnaire, their status will move to ready, and their nomination will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee where members will confirm or reject the appointment. Once an appointment is advanced by the committee, the nomination is brought before the full Senate for a vote to confirm.

Parker concluded her remarks by reiterating that people often do not think of boards and commissions, but they are a wonderful way to volunteer and give back to the state and community and become involved in the political process. They also are a perfect opportunity, she said, to network within one’s sector or across different sectors. She encouraged the business community to submit recommendations of talented professionals that should be appointed to state boards and commissions to her office.

NJBIA encourages its members to apply for state appointments. Applications can be submitted here.

The meeting ended with a Government Affairs update highlighting several key policy matters. NJBIA Director of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey expressed the association’s opposition to bill S-2389 (Singleton), which would require a number of covered employers in the state to retain service employees for 90 days following a change of ownership in their service contracts.

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz provided a FY23 state budget update, in which he outlined initiatives supported by the business community, while also acknowledging the budget still does not reflect affordability for the business community, especially in terms of property tax relief or unemployment insurance costs. NJBIA’s full budget testimony can be found here.