The Honorable Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin was born Jan. 31, 1958 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He attended public schools in South Amboy going on to graduate summa cum laude from St. John’s University in 1980 and then to earn his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1983.
Serving his seventh term in the General Assembly representing the 19th Legislative District, Coughlin in January of 2018 garnered the support of the Democratic caucus to become the chamber’s 171st Speaker.
Coughlin’s legislative career has focused on lifting up working and middle-class families and New Jerseyans, and he has led the way on smart investments into communities and the state’s economy. Highlights of the Speaker’s twelve-year tenure include successfully raising the state’s minimum wage, sponsorship of four expansive anti-hunger bill packages, reforming the state’s economic and business incentive programs principally through the Economic Recovery Act of 2020, expanding the state’s micro brewing industry, implementing automatic voter registration, and modernizing the state’s brownfield remediation process. His wealth of knowledge of governmental operations has led to several key pieces of legislation being signed into law. Advocating for taxpayers with the Middle-Class Tax Rebate and boosts to school funding, sponsoring the New Jersey College Affordability Act, fighting for the Senior Freeze, restoration of the Homestead Rebate, improving the fairness of landlord-tenant relations, revitalizing the workforce through investments to childcare, and strengthening food security have been cornerstone achievements of Speaker Coughlin’s policy agenda.
A long-time champion for food insecure communities, Speaker Coughlin spearheads an annual bowling fundraiser to benefit local food pantries in his district. In partnership with dozens of area businesses and organizations, the event has raised over $300,000 since its inaugural year in 2010. The Speaker also co-chairs the FeedNJ Campaign, launched at the height of the pandemic to connect local restaurants with soup kitchens feeding families.
Before running for the Assembly in 2009, Coughlin was a member of the South Amboy Board of Education, then served as a City Councilman for six years. Speaker Coughlin has served in various legal capacities including as a municipal court judge, prosecutor and public defender.
Coughlin is a partner in Woodbridge-based law firm, Rainone, Coughlin, Minchello LLC. He and his wife, Letitia, have three sons—Craig Jr., Vincent and Nicholas.
A HYBRID EVENT Wednesday, June 8
Join us for an in-person town hall with Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-19) on Wednesday, June 8 at Holiday Inn Clark.During our event, Assembly Speaker Coughlin will share his legislative and budget priorities, as well as policy impacting New Jersey’s business community.
Wednesday, June 8Networking & Registration: 8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.Welcome and Introduction: 9 a.m.Presentation with Open Q&A: 9:10 a.m.Adjourn: 10 a.m.Location: Hybrid / Holiday Inn Clark: 36 Valley Rd, Clark, NJ 07066
Please go here to download our agenda.
Questions or technical issues? Please contact the NJBIA Event Team