Senate Votes on Pension & Health Benefits Reform Bill

By Michael Aron

The Democrat-controlled state senate in a 24 to 15 vote approved sharply higher benefits contributions and stripped health care from union negotiations for four years.  An amendment offered on the senate floor to address the latest objection to the bill, the requirement that public employees get their health care in New Jersey, not out-of-state, was made optional.  Senator Diane Allen, who sponsored the amendment, called it the better of two not-so-great options.

FULL COVERAGE: Senate Pension & Health Benefits Bill Vote

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4 Responses to Senate Votes on Pension & Health Benefits Reform Bill

  1. Jeff Mattingly says:

    Is it not true that state employees can and do, and will continue to, negotiate their saleries through collective bargaining? Private employee benefits, such as those that the average taxpayer receives, are decided by management and are based upon what the employer can afford to offer. Granted, these are factors when considering employment but these are very tough times and “negotiated healthcare and pension contributions” are way out of wack with those who must pay the costs of these benefits receive themselves. The expectation that the promises of politicians, who’s first concern is reelection, would never overburden the public’s ability to pay and the overt hostility directed at those who would try to save the system for 800 thousand who are depending on it is not fostering the kind of sympathy and support they might otherwise expect. They do not come off as noble police, firemen and teachers who went into their professions to serve and protect.

  2. Tracy says:

    Our esteemed legislators justify their support of the Pension & Health Benefits Reform Bill by citing burgeoning healthcare costs. This begs the question: Why don’t politicians take on the insurance companies rather than spend time creating middle-class warfare? How could Blue Cross/Blue Shield have raised the cost of their premiums 25% since last year? On an unrelated (though equally thought-provoking) note, why did my homeowners’ insurance premium increase by 48% over the past two years–without having a claim? Why are we continuing to give tax breaks to companies when the state of New Jersey has failed to contribute billions into the Public Employee Retirement System? We need politicians who are going to stand up for their constituents rather than vilifying the very people whom they represent.

  3. Chris says:

    Helicopter Rides 5 cents plus your healthcare and pension benefits:
    A new jersey teacher who lost his job has been volunteering and continuing to teach his students without a paycheck. It was featured on national NBC news with Brian Williiams tonight. The massive layoffs and cutbacks are being protested in Trenton on Thursday by public employees in one of the largest rallys in the history of New Jersey.
    Perhaps politicians should vote against any bill that takes any more away from public employees since much hasnt been done yet for the real wasteful spending of government. Maybe our state government can sell some of its assets and cut wasteful spending before inhibiting the futures of America’s child musicians. Government bills should be aimed at stopping local cutting of programs and reinstating our states best, our dedicated teachers.

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