Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

NJ Pension Payback Bill

According to observer.com yesterday:

A5322/S3620- The Assembly will vote on a bill that would allow former Camden Mayor Dana Redd—as well as some other elected officials—to re-enter the public pension system she left in 2010 when she left the Camden city council in order to become mayor. The bill has been controversial, partly because New Jersey’s pension system is underfunded as a whole. The bill was introduced in the legislature last month and fast-tracked. It passed the state Senate last month, and Christie will likely sign the measure if it lands on his desk in the coming days—Redd has been a loyal Christie supporter.

So what happened?

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Confessions of a Political Hitman

I can honestly say that, in the dozens of confrontations I’ve had over the years with Democratic political hacks and bureaucrats, even when I was illegally being denied public information, I was never, I mean never, treated with with the disrespect and arrogance I met with during my time in New Jersey,

Stephen Marks, Confessions of a Political Hitman (page 269)

More excerpts:

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How a Benefits Bill Becomes Law in New Jersey

What started as a housekeeping bill to correct a perceived inequity:

was amended to result in unintended (?) consequences.

The first thing you need to know is that under current law, New Jersey state troopers who achieve 25 years of service have to pay up to 35 percent of their health care premiums in retirement. Here is the story on those who don’t get to 25 years.

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Christie Legacy

Three former New Jersey governors claim that Chris Christie’s tenure was not a failure with one even coming out with:

he got pension and health care reforms and helped keep property taxes from rising swiftly by limiting how much raises for police and firefighters and enacting a 2 percent local spending cap, [Donald] DiFrancesco argued.

“His perception is really, really bad,” he said. “His legacy is really, really good.”

In a discursive interview in Politico Magazine Christie comes off as an obnoxious egomaniac who got things done early on:

On policy, Christie was both hard-nosed and pragmatic. He capped property taxes in a notoriously high-tax state. He cleaned up a budget mess left by his disgraced predecessor, Gov. Jon Corzine. He persuaded Stephen Sweeney, a burly ironworker’s union official who leads the State Senate, to make a compromise on pensions that would require unions to pay more.

“He came to my union office and we sat down the second day,” Sweeney recalled. “And his comment to me, are we going to get anything done, or do what is always done and fight? He wanted to get things done, and so did I.”

At the time, New Jersey’s pension system was among the most underfunded in the country, and Christie’s predecessors didn’t pay. (Christie also has a checkered record—while paying more than his predecessors, he also skipped some payments.) Stile, a sometimes fierce critic of the governor, said, “The time of practically skipping and significantly shorting the pension system has pretty much stopped. It went on for 15 years leading up to him. He deserves credit for that.”

There is a possibility that Chris Christie may not go down as the worst governor in New Jersey history……..which is a shame…….because he is. Looking at the record:

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New Jersey Budget After Christie

Incoming governor Phil Murphy started making the rounds of talk shows where he gets five minutes to give his spiel on economic growth and discuss legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
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While back in the real world:

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2017 Election Results for Public Pensions

There were at least four ballot questions across the country and one race in Southern New Jersey that impact public pensions. Here are the results:

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Vote Today on NY Public Pensions?

STUMP today focused on Pension-Related Ballot Measures: 2017 which linked to:

  1. New York State Proposal 2: Forfeiture of Pension of Criminal Officials
  2. Maine Proposal 4: extending from 10 to 20 years the period to pay off unfunded liabilities
  3. Houston $1 Billion Pension Obligation Bond

But after listening for a few minutes to Bernie and Sid this morning it may be that a ballot question in New York will have a massive impact on public pensions in that state…and possibly the nation.

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