Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Christie Signs Landmark Pension, Benefits Reform

Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law landmark pension and health benefit reform, marking months of hard work, negotiation, compromise and ultimately bipartisan support. The fundamental reforms shake up New Jersey’s out-of-date, antiquated and increasingly expensive pension and health benefit systems and bring to an end years of broken promises and fiscal mismanagement by securing the long-term solvency of the pension and benefit systems. At the same time, critical savings for state and local governments are achieved – pension reform alone will provide savings to New Jersey taxpayers of over $120 billion over the next 30 years, and an additional $3.1 billion over the next 10 years from health benefits reform.

“This is a defining moment in New Jersey’s history. At a time when our state, along with dozens of others around the country are facing unprecedented fiscal challenges, a rarity happened. We stopped just talking about doing the big things and actually delivered. By working together, Republicans and Democrats have shown that when we put action before demagoguery and results before partisanship, we can accomplish great things for the people of New Jersey.

“By daring to be bold and take on the risks of addressing the big issues, we are doing what was once unimaginable – saving billions of dollars for taxpayers, fixing these systems in order to save them, and providing real, long-term fiscal stability for future generations of New Jerseyans.

“I want to once again thank Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Oliver, Senate Minority Leader Kean and Assembly Minority Leader DeCroce for their commitment and leadership in tackling these challenges. Every New Jerseyan can share in this victory that came through cooperation, bipartisanship and compromise,” concluded Governor Christie.

The historic bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Senators Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic) as well as Assemblypersons Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden), Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr. (R-Mercer, Monmouth) and cosponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Mercer, Monmouth).

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