Loretta Weinberg was elected to the New Jersey State Senate (District 37) in November 2005. She is currently the Senate Majority Leader and also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is Vice Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee and Co-Chair of the select legislative committee investigating “Bridgegate.” She also sits on the New Jersey Israel Commission, New Jersey Historical Commission and State Legislative Services Commission. She has been appointed by the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court to an ad hoc committee to look at domestic violence and the court system.
Senator Weinberg is the first person to run as a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in the State of New Jersey. Prior to joining the State Senate, she served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 14 years. In 2004, after 10 years of work, Senator Weinberg’s .08 legislation, which lowers the legal alcohol level to .08 in New Jersey, was signed into law. She sponsored the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces. She has also sponsored legislation that overhauled the jury selection process; required health insurance companies to pay for at least 48 hours of hospital care for new mothers and their babies; created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Adolescent Pregnancy; and shaped a landmark autism research funding bill that gives $1.00 from every New Jersey traffic violation to autism research which is projected to yield $20 million toward autism research within five years.
Senator Weinberg has sponsored numerous gun violence prevention measures. She was the prime sponsor of the 2002 Childproof Handgun Law designed to help spur the development of personalized handgun technology. She sponsored subsequent legislation as part of her continued effort to advance life-saving ‘smart gun’ technology to the market. Senator Weinberg is the prime sponsor of legislation to enhance protections for domestic violence victims by restricting access to firearms by offenders. She has also sponsored legislation to reduce the legal maximum capacity of ammunition magazines in New Jersey to 10 rounds.
Weinberg has been in the lead on every LGBT advancement in New Jersey throughout her legislative career, including marriage equality, transgender equality, and sweeping anti-discrimination and anti-hate crimes laws. She has also been instrumental in expanding awareness of aphasia, introducing a bill to designate June as Aphasia Month in New Jersey and sponsoring legislation that formed an Aphasia Study Commission.
In 2015 she received an award from the NJ Press Association for her tireless advocacy on behalf of transparency; in 2016 the ACLU honored her at their Lights of Liberty event with the Roger Baldwin Award for her leadership on civil rights issues and in 2017, the National Newspaper Association honored Senator Weinberg at the National Press Club in Washington DC for her support of the newspaper industry across NJ.
In April 2018, a groundbreaking bill she worked on with Senator Diane Allen was signed into law. Governor Phil Murphy signed into Law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to provide enhanced equal pay protections for New Jersey Employees.
Throughout her career in public service, Senator Weinberg has devoted many hours to her community and to local, state-wide, and national organizations that seek to improve the lives of men, women, and children. She has been active in Shelter Our Sisters (Founding Member), the Bergen Family Center, the New Jersey Network of Women Elected Officials, the National Organization of Women Legislators, and the National Council of Jewish Women (Life Member). She is a long-time member of Temple Emeth in Teaneck. She married her late husband, Irwin Weinberg, in 1961, and they had two children: Daniel, born in 1962, and Francine, born in 1963. Loretta now has two grandchildren: Shayna Iris, born in 2003, and Jonah Benjamin, born in 2005.