Posts Tagged ‘berg’

D-Days for New Jersey Pensions

As in Decision Days.

Today a judge will hear arguments on whether the State can skip pension payments (it can for this year anyway) and tomorrow:

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Judicial Independence and Politics in the Berg Case

NJ Spotlight has been the best source for news of importance to New Jerseyans for some time now.  Today they have stories on (1) New Jersey’s beleaguered Chief Justice supported by attendees at last week’s State Bar Association meeting* since a real possibility exists that he will not get renominated:

“The fact that there exists today any possible question about his (Rabner) renomination as the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court should be a signal to every lawyer here and to every lawyer and judge throughout the state that the statute, the reputation, and the independence of New Jersey’s judiciary is seriously at risk,” said [Gary] Stein, a Republican who was a Supreme Court justice for 17 years and, prior to that, director of policy and planning for Republican Gov. Thomas H. Kean.

and (2) closing a budget gap by further shortchanging the state pension system:

If Christie cannot find $807 million in “one shot” budget maneuvers or last-minute spending cuts to balance the current budget, and therefore decides to push off a portion of the $1.558 billion pension payment past June 30 into the following fiscal year, any court challenge to the deferral by the state’s public employee unions would most likely not be decided for months.

That would give Christie the window he needs to at least push off his budget problem until next year, when he planned to make long-term pension and retiree health benefits a centerpiece of the FY16 budget battle. By then, the state’s appeals courts also would have issued their final ruling in a legal challenge to the 2011 law’s elimination of $74 billion in cost-of-living increases over 30 years.

There appears to be a link between the Rabner renomination and the decision in the COLA case.

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No Pension Guarantee in New Jersey

In a hearing where Superior Court Judge Douglas Hurd ruled that the elimination of pension cost-of-living-adjustments for all New Jersey retirees was OK it was the state’s position that even the basic pension was not guaranteed to the extent it was not funded.

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Breaking News: Can New Jersey Cut COLAs?

New Jersey suspended pension cost-of-living-adjustments last year.  There were lawsuits. The state moved to dismiss.  Earlier today Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Hurd ruled on that motion:

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