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Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

Representative for New Jersey’s 12th District

pronounced BAH-nee // WOT-sun KOHL-mun

Watson Coleman is the representative for New Jersey’s 12th congressional district (view map) and is a Democrat. She has served since Jan 6, 2015. Watson Coleman is next up for reelection in 2024 and serves until Jan 3, 2025. She is 78 years old.

Photo of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman [D-NJ12]


Coleman was arrested at a protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on July, 19 2022. The same month the Committee published a committee report indicating they will pay a $50 fine.

Jul. 29, 2022 House Committee on Ethics published a committee report indicating they will pay a $50 fine


Watson Coleman proposed $39 million in earmarks for fiscal year 2024, including:

  • $10 million to Township of Ewing for “Rebuilding of Ewing Senior & Community Center”
  • $6 million to County of Mercer, New Jersey for “Trenton Mercer Airport Taxiway Project”
  • $5 million to City of Plainfield for “Plainfield Smart City Project”

These are earmark requests which may or may not survive the legislative process to becoming law. Most representatives from both parties requested earmarks for fiscal year 2024. Across representatives who requested earmarks, the median total amount requested for this fiscal year was $39 million.

Earmarks are federal expenditures, tax benefits, or tariff benefits requested by a legislator for a specific entity. Rather than being distributed through a formula or competitive process administered by the executive branch, earmarks may direct spending where it is most needed for the legislator's district. All earmark requests in the House of Representatives are published online for the public to review. We don’t have earmark requests for senators. The fiscal year begins on October 1 of the prior calendar year. Source: Background: Earmark Disclosure Rules in the House


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2022 Report Card for Watson Coleman.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Watson Coleman is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Watson Coleman has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2019 to Sep 21, 2023. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

Bonnie Watson Coleman sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Watson Coleman was the primary sponsor of 5 bills that were enacted:

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Does 5 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Watson Coleman sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Taxation (25%) Crime and Law Enforcement (22%) Health (19%) Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues (10%) Housing and Community Development (7%) Finance and Financial Sector (6%) Labor and Employment (6%) Government Operations and Politics (5%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Watson Coleman recently introduced the following legislation:

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Watson Coleman voted Nay

Watson Coleman voted Nay

Passed 327/85 on Dec 21, 2020.

This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a major government funding bill, which also included economic stimulus provisions due …

Watson Coleman voted Nay

Watson Coleman voted Nay

Passed 338/88 on May 13, 2015.

The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of …

Missed Votes

From Jan 2015 to Sep 2023, Watson Coleman missed 57 of 4,890 roll call votes, which is 1.2%. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: