The NJ Senate has posted Senate Concurrent Resolution S-184, proposing a constitutional amendment to obligate the State to make the required annual contribution into public sector pension plans. The bill would bind the legislature to phase in the full payment of the annual contribution by 2021 and require the state to make the payments on a quarterly basis.
Quarterly payments would save the state millions every year on the annual required contribution, and would boost the health of the pension fund because investment earnings would be accrued on the payments throughout the fiscal year, instead of one lump payment at the very end of the year.
If passed this time, and then again in 2016, the pension funding and quarterly payments would be put on the ballot on Election Day, November 2016. If passed by the voters, it would amend the NJ Constitution and remedy the decision of the NJ Supreme Court.
The resolution has been posted for vote in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday, December 10th at 1pm. The committee hearing will be held in the State House Annex, 1st Floor, Committee Room 4. The Local will join forces with the rest of CWA, the NJ AFL-CIO and other public sector unions to voice strong support and urge passage of this resolution out of committee. We also thank Senate President Stephen Sweeney for his leadership to post this bill.
Stay tuned. We will be in touch later this week with an update on next steps, including passage in the Assembly.
For the fifth year in a row, Governor Christie underfunded the state’s pension payment for the upcoming fiscal year, which will place our pension system for all public workers at risk, accumulate even more unfunded liability, and place the state’s credit at risk of a 10th downgrade.
All this despite receiving a balanced, fully funded budget from the Senate and Assembly that made the full pension payment due under the chapter 78 schedule. It is also the 2nd year in a row that the Governor vetoed a full pension payment paid by a balanced budget.
In order to make the full pension payment, the Legislature essentially accepted the majority of Governor Christie’s budget, but increased revenue through a temporary increase in corporate taxes and millionaire households. The additional revenue paid for the pension payment plus restored a cut to women’s health programs and restored a tax break for 280,000 low-income working families.
Governor Christie vetoed the Democrats’ budget.
The Senate and Assembly also passed other important bills as part of its budget sessions: