Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How The Clock Ran Out In NJ And What's Next

The clock has officially run out for the New Jersey State Senate to vote on a controversial resolution to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot regarding pensions this November. While still a possibility in years ahead, Americans for Prosperity State Director Erica Jedynak said:

“We applaud Senator Sweeney for careful deliberation and understanding the budget constraints New Jersey faces. ACR-109 would have prevented even modest pension reform to address the current problem. The ‘non-forfeitable benefit’ clause in the amendment would have prevented New Jersey from enacting any structural reforms to its pension program. Once an employee was promised any amount of pension benefits, they would be unable to be altered in any meaningful way. This would essentially enshrine in the state constitution a promise for the life of the member and their beneficiaries and prevent any meaningful reform of current benefit structures, no matter how dire circumstances may get in the future.
“Americans for Prosperity believes this issue merits a fair solution that does not harm taxpayers and assures public sector employees they will receive a check when they retire. Now that this proposal has been put off, we encourage lawmakers to come together and address this issue in a forthright way that benefits all New Jerseyans and the future of our state.”

ACR-109 would have also mandated that New Jersey fund the pension system at the full amount every year starting in 2021. While New Jersey should look to always fully fund the pension system—delayed payments would then lead to higher future taxpayer burdens—the state would continue to see public employee pension costs crowd out spending on schools, roads, and public safety instead of finding a balance.

1.               Pension & Health Benefits Reform
2.               Maintaining Health Infrastructure
3.               Affordability for All New Jersey Residents
4.               Reducing Mandates on Business and Workers
5.               Fighting Crony Capitalism

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