is New Jersey’s longest serving Speaker of the General Assembly, a lifelong educator, hall-of-fame college basketball player and coach, lawyer and currently raises Texas Longhorn cattle on his farm in Pittsgrove Township, Salem County.
During his sixteen year tenure in the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Environment Committee, four years as Majority Leader and six years as Speaker. In his leadership roles he had an active role in all of the major legislation passed in the decade of the 1990s. He was the primary sponsor of many bills during his tenure including the Baby Safe Haven bill, the Senior Citizen Property Tax Freeze, the expansion of qualifications allowing low-income families to be removed from income tax rules and numerous bills that improved educational opportunities for all of New Jersey’s students. He retired from the General Assembly in 2002.Born in Atlantic City, Mr. Collins moved to Gloucester City at a young age and went on to attend Glassboro State/Rowan University where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1964 and his master’s degree three years later. Mr. Collins has the distinction of being a member of the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame, the Glassboro State/Rowan University Hall of Fame and the Gloucester County Hall of Fame. After retiring as a college basketball coach, Mr. Collins studied law at the Rutgers University School of Law in Camden and received his degree in 1982 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar. Mr. Collins retired from Rowan University where he served as a professor of graduate instruction in education-related issues and school administration. He and his wife Betsy have four children; Joellen, Dawn, Rebecca, Sean and nine grandchildren.