Obeying the Law – After Getting Caught

The second paragraph of the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program handbook on eligibility reads:

Any newly appointed or elected officer will be required to work a minimum of 35 hours per week to be considered “full-time” and eligible for coverage under the SHBP/SEHBP.
Getting part-time elected officials off the benefits gravy train was one of the first initiatives of Governor Christie in 2010 but when you are dealing with elected officials often put in office by lawyers that they then hire to give them the legal opinions they want this is what you can expect:

Question 22 of the Best Practices Inventory Question Worksheet reads:

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As explained upon enactment in 2010:

Another aspect of pension reform involves stricter requirements for eligibility within the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees Health Benefits Program for full time appointed or elected individuals and part-time employees.

Full time appointed or elected officials must be considered employees in order to be eligible for health coverage under the State Health Benefits Program and School Employees Health Benefits Program, beginning on May 21, 2010. The term “employee” is defined within the Chapter as “a full-time appointive or elective officer whose hours of work are fixed at 35 or more per week, a full-time employee of the State, or a full-time employee of an employer other than the State who appears on a regular payroll and receives a salary or wages for an average of the number of hours per week as prescribed by the governing body of the participating employer which number of hours worked shall be considered full-time, determined by resolution, and not less than 25.”

Any official elected or appointed after the May 21, 2010 date would not need to meet the requirements stated by the definition above provided they remain in their elected or appointed position continuously after May 21, 2010. Elected officials covered by the State Health Benefits Program are subject to the 1.5% contribution though it is expected that the State Health Benefits Commission is going to provide guidance on the definition of “full-time” as it relates to elected officials and their ability to meet the 35-hour requirement. Chapter 2 also requires that part-time employees work not less than 25 hours per week, an increase from the existing requirement of 20 hours per week.

Fairly clear but politicians being politicians work under their own set of laws as interpreted by paid-for legal opinions. Kearny tried to get their elected officials designated as full-time and in Scotch Plains we have:

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Continuing:
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7 responses to this post.

  1. “The legal counsel has said that it is legal for the record….”
    Love it!

    Reply

  2. Posted by MJ on October 26, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    ……and they wonder why pensions are about to go belly up and municipalities are on the verge of bankruptcy due to health benefits, pensions, salaries and part time politicians sucking it dry

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on October 26, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Just curious, which country has it right? I mean considering things are so screwed in NJ and our Country! Where are the politicians better, I’d like to know so I can move there, yesterday!! Possibly a European country, or make a Communist country, or how about a striking “Third World Country”?

    Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on October 28, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    The corruption, greed, immorality, cronyism, nepotism, incompetence, no accountability at all for any government worker is rampant. No country has it right because of all of this. Everybody was promised………without any personal responsibility to question how this was all going to be paid for by other people. In this country the standard of living is so artificially inflated by credit, debt and more debt……that not many people have much left over to safe for a rainy day or for retirement. The corrupt politicians sold us out to the highest bidders…….so now it is just a wait and see. Once we lose America there is no where to run!

    Reply

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