A reform plan to solve teachers’ pension problem once and for all | Opinion

somerset-county-director-jack-ciattarellijpg-734d8c01280cf4bbBy Jack Ciattarelli For decades, Trenton politicians from both parties have shied away from providing real long-term solutions. We can’t afford to wait any longer. Why are pension systems for municipal and county employees, as well as the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, all solvent? Because the employer pension contributions to these systems are funded by… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sweeney wants federal loan program to rescue public worker pensions

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

TRENTON — State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Wednesday the answer to New Jersey’s rising public employee pension debt lies in creating a trillion dollar federal loan program that will help states avoid insolvency, spare millions of government workers from economic devastation and take the pressure off state budgets. The government aid program — which Sweeney… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, News, Pensions, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

N.J. structural deficit at $10.2B, nearly same as when Christie took office

assetContentTRENTON — New Jersey is more than $10 billion short on what it would cost to fully fund schools, pensions, transportation projects, Medicaid and other programs, according to an estimate prepared by the state’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services and obtained by NJ Advance Media. The newly estimated structural deficit, first reported by NJ Spotlight, has… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget, News | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Bill to make Christie repay 2016 security costs advances

IMG_3433TRENTON — A bill to force Gov. Chris Christie and all governors who follow him to reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for travel and security expenses associated with their out-of-state political trips easily cleared the Senate’s State Government committee Thursday. “All we are asking for is fairness here,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the bill’s sponsor. “If… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

O’Scanlon: We MUST move forward on pension and budget reform

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.

The reason we couldn’t make a payment larger than the $1.3 billion one included in the Governor’s budget has nothing to do with a lack of will or integrity.  It’s about devoting as much $ as possible without inflicting massive, economy-killing, tax increases on an economy just now showing signs of real growth.  Without economic growth there will be no chance we will be able to meet our commitments to the system in the many years to come – so ensuring growth is as important to public workers as anyone else.  We don’t simply have a $1.8 billion deficit this year. We have a $6 to $7 billion hole over the next few years. Taxing the life out of our economy this year, with no plan going forward – and leaving us in a $2 billion hole next year as the Democrat’s proposed budget would – is bad policy, for all New Jerseyans.

But it is true as well that we can’t foster growth to the exclusion of our obligation to our dedicated public workers.  And I can’t state that point vehemently enough.  Our teachers and other public workers are decent, devoted, professional people.  Generalizations to the contrary are without merit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Legislative Races, Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Christie Takes Action On The Budget and Takes Questions From The Press

Governor Chris Christie will announce his line item vetoes of the NJ State Budget that the Democratic Legislature presented to him yesterday and take questions from the NJ Press Corp for the first time this year at 11:30 this morning.

Watch Christie’s remarks here courtesy of NJTV and YouTube.

Posted: June 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Christie promises veto of Dems’ tax increases, mum on pension cuts

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie took a scolding tone with the state’s Democratic lawmakers Thursday night, saying he planned to veto $1.1 billion in tax hikes outright but declining to say how much smaller the state’s contribution to the pension system would be. On his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5, Christie answered “yes” to… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Christie promises veto of Dems’ tax increases, mum on pension cuts

N.J. Democrats say they’ll make good on $3.1 billion pension promise with budget

assetContentTRENTON — Democratic lawmakers on Monday are expected to reveal their plan for a state budget they say would bridge the gap between the $1.3 billion Gov. Chris Christie wants to spend on public worker pensions next year and the $3.1 billion unions are demanding. That plan likely relies on the controversial millionaires’ tax and a… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

Key excerpts from N.J. Supreme Court ruling on pensions

gavel

TRENTON — In a major blow to the New Jersey’s thousands of public workers, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the Christie administration is not obligated to make the payments it promised under a 2011 law intended to sure up the state pension system. In a 5-2 decision, the court said the law, known as Chapter… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ Constitution, NJ Courts, NJ Supreme Court, Pensions | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

Christie calls for interested parties to “come to the table” to solve pension crisis

Photo by Paul Scharff

Photo by Paul Scharff

Governor Chris Christie reacted to the New Jersey Supreme Court decision that he has the authority to cut pension payments from the State Budget and that the political branches of government…the Governor and Legislature…not the Court…must “deal with one another to forge a solution to the tenuous financial status of New Jersey’s pension funding in a way that comports with the strictures of our constitution,” by calling for “all interested parties” to come together and solve the New Jersey’s pension and benefit crisis “once and for all.”

“This decision is an important victory not only for our taxpayers who simply cannot afford these unsustainably high costs, but for limited, constitutional government that recognizes the proper role of the executive and legislative branches of government,” the Governor said in a statement issued by his office, “The Court’s position is clear, as is mine, it is time to move forward and work together to find a tangible, long-term solution to make our pension system and public employee health benefit costs affordable and sustainable for generations to come. In light of today’s decision, I urge all interested parties to come back to the table and partner with me to finally solve this problem once and for all.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, the Assembly Republican Budget Officer, said,

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Declan O'Scanlon, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ Senate Republicans, Pensions | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »