UNITED STATES NEWS

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver lies in state in the capitol rotunda

Aug 10, 2023, 6:57 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a host of lawmakers, and numerous mourners poured into the statehouse rotunda Thursday to mourn the late Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, whose U.S. flag-draped casket lay in state just over a week since she died after a hospital stay for an undisclosed medical issue.

“God Bless Sheila,” Murphy, a Democrat, said after a New Jersey State Police honor guard placed her remains near the state seal in the rotunda.

A stream of legislators, former staffers and members of the public paid their respects to Oliver, who was the first Black woman elected to statewide office in New Jersey history, as well as the first Black woman to be Assembly speaker. She was 71.

Donna Jackson, 60, from Trenton, carried an umbrella into the statehouse as she prepared pay her respects. Jackson said she met Oliver once at a rally years ago and said she “loved” her. She echoed many of the eulogies about Oliver that cast her as a trailblazer.

“It’s empowering that a Black woman accomplished this much,” Jackson said.

Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy attended a private visitation with Oliver before the rotunda opens to the public.

Murphy ordered flags to be flown at half-staff for a month and commissioned a portrait of her that he has said would hang in the statehouse.

In addition to serving as Murphy’s top deputy, stepping in while he was out of the state, Oliver also oversaw the Department of Community Affairs, which coordinates state aid to towns and cities and supervises code enforcement.

Oliver served in the Assembly, where she was elected speaker in 2010. She served in that role until 2014, returning to the back benches when Murphy tapped her to be his running mate in 2017. They won the election that year and were reelected together in 2021.

She began her legislative career in 2003, when she won an Assembly seat in native Essex County. Before that she served on the Essex County board of chosen freeholders from 1996 to 1999.

Born and raised in Newark, she earned a sociology degree from Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University and had a master’s degree in community organization from Columbia University.

Speaking from his office last week, Murphy remembered her as an advocate for affordable housing and for urban communities across the state, including Atlantic City, where she was the de facto final decision maker for some of the city’s most consequential decisions. A law passed under Republican Gov. Chris Christie gave control over much of the city’s major decisions to the state.

As acting governor she signed a bill in 2021 that established a pilot program to overhaul the state’s juvenile justice system in four cities and which aimed to reintegrate young people into their communities. Another measure she signed in 2021 revived a defunct fund for “urban enterprise zones” aimed driving economic development in cities through lower sales tax rates.

After lying in state in the statehouse Thursday, Oliver’s remains will lie in the historic Essex County courthouse Friday. A funeral service where Al Sharpton and the governor will eulogize her is set for Saturday.

The state constitution requires Murphy to name a successor within 45 days of the vacancy. He so far has not nominated anyone.

Senate President Nicholas Scutari will serve as acting governor if Murphy leaves the state or is incapacitated in the interim.

United States News

Associated Press

New Hampshire’s limits on teaching on race and gender are unconstitutional, judge says

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal judge has struck down New Hampshire’s nearly 3-year-old law limiting what teachers can say about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other topics in public schools as unconstitutionally vague. The ruling could revive the topic as an election year campaign issue. Republicans pitched the 2021 law as an anti-discrimination […]

30 minutes ago

Associated Press

Vermont’s Republican governor allows ghost gun bill to become law without his signature

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has allowed a bill to become law that requires serial numbers on firearms that are privately made with individual parts, kits or 3D printers. Scott allowed the bill, part of an effort to crack down on hard-to-trace ghost guns that are increasingly showing up in crimes, to become law […]

56 minutes ago

Associated Press

2 new giant pandas are returning to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two giant pandas are coming to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year. The zoo made the announcement Wednesday, about half a year after it sent its three pandas back to China. The number of pandas in American zoos has steadily dwindled as loan agreements lapsed during diplomatic […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $17.1 billion in all-stock deal, plus $5.4 billion in debt

ConocoPhillips is buying Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $17.1 billion. The deal is valued at $22.5 billion when including $5.4 billion in debt. Crude prices have jumped more than 12% this year and the cost for a barrel rose above $80 this week. As part of the transaction, Marathon Oil shareholders […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street points toward losses as markets digest earnings, dealmaking

Wall Street was poised to open with losses on Wednesday as some major dealmaking and a handful of earnings reports fill the news void until Friday’s latest inflation report. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each tumbled 0.6% before the bell. ConocoPhillips said that it is buying Marathon Oil in […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Weather-weary Texas battered again as powerful storm, strong winds kill 1, cause widespread damage

HOUSTON (AP) — Power outages remained widespread Wednesday in storm-weary Texas a day after another burst of severe weather flooded streets, uprooted trees and ripped off roofs. Authorities said a teenager was killed at a construction site while working on a home that collapsed. The severe weather Tuesday, which at one point left more than […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver lies in state in the capitol rotunda