Throughout her career as Bergen County’s Assistant Administrator and a member of the Teaneck Township Council, the New Jersey General Assembly, and the New Jersey State Senate, Loretta Weinberg has championed issues affecting women, children, families, health care, gun safety, and other quality- of-life concerns. She has been dedicated to the preservation of the family for more than three decades of outstanding public service and was instrumental in getting laws passed to protect new mothers from early hospital discharge and to stop drunk drivers and handgun violence from claiming any more innocent victims. She has also been an untiring supporter of Bergen County groups and New Jersey organizations that safeguard the family, improve the physical and mental health of children, and advance services for children with autism, adults with aphasia, and military veterans.
Loretta Weinberg was born February 6, 1935, in New York. She graduated from the University of California with a bachelor of arts degree in history and political science and has completed all coursework for a master of arts degree in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. 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.
A Force in Bergen County and in Trenton
From 1975 to 1985, Loretta was the Assistant Administrator to the County of Bergen, and from 1990 to 1994 was a member of the Teaneck City Council. She was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1992. As an Assemblywoman representing the 37th district, Loretta served as Majority Conference Leader, Chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee, and Vice Chairwoman of the Family, Women, and Children’s Services Committee. She is also a member of the New Jersey Historical Commission, the Legislative Services Commission, and the New Jersey Israel Commission. Loretta’s focus on health care issues led to the Speaker of the General Assembly appointing her to the Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Committee in 2004. This commission reviews any bill introduced in the Legislature that would require a health insurance carrier to provide a mandated health benefit. Loretta’s other committee assignments in the General Assembly included the Community Services Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and the Consumer Affairs and Regulated Professions Committee.
In the General Assembly, Loretta left a legacy of sponsoring laws that protect men, women, and children from a number of adversaries and work to improve their lives. These include bills 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
• Established New Jersey’s Child Proof Handgun Bill, the first of its kind in the nation
• Shaped the landmark autism research funding bill that gives $1 from every New Jersey traffic violation to autism research. (This surcharge is projected to yield $20 million to autism research over the next five years without burdening New Jersey taxpayers.)
In 2004, after 10 years of struggle, the Governor signed Loretta’s .08 legislation into law. This law lowers the legal alcohol level to .08 in New Jersey. Loretta’s undying commitment to the passage of the .08 law is a testament to her dedication to future generations and their safety in New Jersey.
In November 2005, Loretta was elected to the New Jersey State Senate, where she is continuing her work to improve the lives of New Jersey residents. She serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate State Government and the New Jersey Israel Commission. She sponsored the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces.