Alicia Munnell was surprised by the New Jersey Supreme Court decision in the pension payment case finishing up her article with:
So here are my questions. Why is it OK for the state to make unconstitutional commitments? And if the state does not have to live up to its side of the contract, why should the public employees live up to their side?
The alternative, clinging to old ways that have proven unworkable, will doom New Jersey to the fiscal disaster. The choice between chaos and the practical solution offered by the commission is clear.
But what Mr. Healey seems not to have noticed is that….
The decision by the court strips the state of the power to negotiate since they have nothing to negotiate with. Any commitment of funds on their part for anything over 1% of the state budget in any year, which even minor tweaks to the system would require, is now affirmed to be unconstitutional. Negotiations would run along the lines of…