Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark South, is not keeping quiet about his opposition to House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf.
The Newark lawmaker released a letter just before the start of the legislative term on Tuesday. He said he was unfairly removed by Schwartzkopf as chair of the House Energy Committee, and was completely removed from the House Education Committee for voicing the opinions of his constituents.
“His words, ‘You want to be an activist and that’s fine, you’re just not going to represent our caucus on that committee and be an activist while you’re doing it,’” said Rep. Kowalko, who spoke with Rep. Schwartzkopf following the decision.
Kowalko has been outspoken in the media about his opposition to the state’s proposed Priority School initiative and other legislative issues.
“I took issue with the fidelity of that reasoning and tried to explain that the committee process was the appropriate place for dialogue and debate in order to air dissenting perspective while conceding that no individual member of a committee had the authority to keep legislation in committee nor release it.”
Kowalko has served on the House Education Committee for eight years and the House Energy Committee for six years.