Job Number One

The Sunlight Policy Center released another report yesterday blasting the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), this time for their complicity in the bankruptcy of the retirement system that included a helpful history though I disagreed on a couple of points.

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NJ Legislators on “Path to Progress”

New Jersey Assemblymen John Burzichelli (D) and John Dimaio (R) discussed the chances of having a FY20 budget this week with a nod to the danger of ignoring pension and benefit reform:
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Yet nothing is being done in this budget other than putting a constitutional amendment on a ballot in a year when it is likely to fail as public employee unions marshal their anti-Trump forces.

Full “Path to Progress” clip from On the Record:

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“Path to Progress” Bills Pass Committee

On the day of a mass protest by pubic employee unions a Senate Committee began moving:

Lawmakers began moving ahead with nine of Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s “Path to Progress” bills, all of them aimed at promoting shared service agreements and cutting the costs of local government.

No hybrid pension or gold-level health insurance bills as  Sweeney, when he unveiled the legislation in mid-May, said those two proposals would be constitutional amendments, which would go before voters as a ballot question in the 2020 presidential election, effectively forcing Murphy’s hand.

The bills that made the cut:

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Worse Than Dithering in NJ

The Illinois Policy Center just came out with an article that calls out Illinois for dithering on pension reforms, concluding with…

New Jersey is trying to do something. Connecticut shows what not to do. Illinois leaders need to watch, learn and stop using tax hikes as their only solution.

What New Jersey is trying to do is lower the state’s already grossly inadequate level of contributions for the benefits being promised even thought those mini-contributions have resulted in liabilities, using honest valuations, in the $200 billion range. If they wanted to save any pensions they would either put in an extra $10 billion annually (to start) to prop them up or cut all benefits by 50% (to start). Instead what New Jersey has done is…

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Still Enough For Everybody?

In an unusual moment of candor typically reserved for backroom whispers or private email servers our political boss in Union County reassured his electorate after a bit of an internal kerfuffle with the words:

“As my mayor in Linden says, there’s enough for everybody. Right, Mayor?” Scutari said. “And I pledge to work with him and my members of my city council in Linden — congratulations, mayor — and work with everyone here regardless of where we were before we came in here today.”

Which is what an audience dependent on government jobs and no-bid contracts wants to hear. But is there still really enough?

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Bailout Bill To Pass Committee Tomorrow

According to P&I:

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NJ Pension Boost NOT Scheduled for Today

A veto override apparently is off the table for today as is S1403 which passed the State Senate unanimously in February, an Assembly Committee in March, and last Friday was on the docket for the legislature to approve today but is now NOT on the docket*.

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