James Anthony Merlino (born 19 August 1972) is an Australian politician serving as the member for Monbulk in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, as a member of the Labor Party. He has been Deputy Premier of Victoria and Minister for Education since December 2014. Merlino was elected at the 2002 state election defeating Steve McArthur. Merlino comfortably retained his seat at the state election in 2006 and became the Minister for Sport and Recreation and Youth Affairs, securing a place in cabinet. Under new Premier John Brumby's government he retained that ministry and gained a new role as Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs. He subsequently became Police Minister following the resignation of the previous Minister. When the ALP lost government in the 2010 state election, Merlino became Shadow Minister for Police, the TAC and Road Safety. In February 2012, he was elected unopposed as Deputy Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria, following the resignation of Rob Hulls, becoming deputy leader of the opposition With the election of the Andrews Labor Government in late 2014, Merlino became Deputy Premier and Education Minister. On 10 June 2016, Merlino also became Minister for Emergency Services following the resignation of Brunswick MP Jane Garrett from the Andrews Ministry.