The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) released a report this month on Connecticut’s State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) pursuant to a grant from the State of Connecticut which included an amazing academic justification for shirking contributions that other states may jump on.
It was reported that a hearing was held today on Assembly Bill A4275 which would offer the retirement planning expertise of the stat of New Jersey to private-sector employees modeled on a program Illinois set up.
Yes the same security that public employees in Illinois and New Jersey feel these days could be extended to the private sector. Anyone seriously considering taking up these states on their offers might also look into getting a haircut from Sweeney Todd. So how did it get on each state’s radar?
Gov. Chris Christie may claim in places like New Hampshire and Iowa that he has tamed New Jersey’s public employee unions, but you wouldn’t have known it from the smile on the face of one union’s leader.
“We had a terrific week,” said Wendell Steinhauer, president of the New Jersey Education Association, as his union gathered yesterday for its annual convention in Atlantic City. “Nobody can ruin this week for me.”
The NJEA was all in for the Democrats this year. For the first time in recent memory, the union did not endorse a single Republican. But the union also insisted that it wasn’t party affiliation that mattered. “We would have liked to endorse a Republican,” said Ginger Gold Schnitzer, the NJEA’s head of government relations and director of the NJEA’s PAC.
“The reason the Republicans weren’t endorsed was that none of them stood up and voted for the five-seventh pension payment,” she said, referring to the proposed $3.1 billion payment of five-seventh of the state’s obligation. “The rubber met the road on the pension payment. This election for the NJEA was very much about one thing: It was about candidates keeping promises.”
There might be one thing that could ruin this week for union leaders:
Business Insider speculated that when Fox News announces tomorrow the participants in next week’s Republican debate Chris Christie (with a 2.25% average poll rating) will be knocked off the main stage, effectively ending his ridiculous pursuit. I too see him relegated but for three more practical reasons.
In a desperate attempt to curry favor with the extreme elements of his party (primarily those who don’t think) to get his poll numbers to 2.5% Chris Christie visited another media outlet lacking fact checkers and went on about:
- playing politics
- some hack who tomorrow will be back in the media working that side of the street
- taking credit for something he had nothing to do with
- being there all these months and not getting anything done
- being almost completely uninvolved in Sandy recovery outside of photo-ops
- having to put on a loyalty display to the most radical portions of his party
without a hint of irony:
Credit risk this time and according to The Bond Buyer teaser:
Despite last week’s downgrades, Illinois’ general obligation paper fares better than New Jersey for relative credit risk, Municipal Market Analytics (MMA) said in a commentary comparing the two lowest-rated states.
Crain’s Chicago Business (CCB) also got a copy of the MMA report and, though the headline implied a toss-up, the excerpts included in their story clearly show why New Jersey deserves its rank: