Sen. Pennacchio: “Stop Scare Tactics and Have an Honest Discussion to Save New Jersey’s Pension Fund”
“The private sector is looking at us, and we do look good. I know we’ll have to give…I’m more than willing to pay more to support my benefits.”
“I got 38 years in, but everything’s up in the air. They’re taking 10 percent out of the principal every year to pay existing retirees. I’m worried that it won’t be there for me.”
Citing today’s New York Times conversation with New Jersey public employees on the state of New Jersey’s public pension system, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris/Passaic) called for an end to scare tactics aimed at derailing real reform:
9th District Delegation Informs Area School Districts About State Police Gang Awareness Presentation
In letters sent out to each school district of the 9th Legislative District, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are informing local school superintendents about gang activity seminars that are offered by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP). The 9th District Legislators recently received a briefing from the State Police on gang activity in the area and around the state.
In their letter to the superintendents, the 9th District Delegation made the following remarks:
“In response to the growing concern over gang violence, our Delegation recently met with members of the New Jersey State Police who provided a comprehensive briefing on the status of gang activity in our state. During the briefing, information was presented to us that we feel would be beneficial to your school district in addressing this serious societal and criminal issue now increasingly confronting parents, educators and law enforcement.
Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding Standard and Poor’s decision to reduce New Jersey’s bond rating:
“Standard and Poor’s decision to lessen New Jersey’s bond rating makes it crystal clear that we must act now to rescue the state’s pension funds. Failure to act with speed will, quite literally, increase the costs to the taxpayers.
“Early in his term Governor Christie set the course to return New Jersey to fiscal solvency. His common-sense agenda includes pension and health benefits reform, a reduction in regulations and red tape and other substantial matters to improve our competitive position throughout the region.
The following editorial by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean appeared in The Star-Ledger on February 10, 2011:
Most communities in New Jersey are blessed with great schools, good teachers and a local district that prepares children to enter the work force or go to college. By and large, New Jersey public schools produce good outcomes for the majority of their pupils.
But in a handful of communities — our state’s poorest and most dangerous — children and their parents face dire circumstances. Despite billions of dollars spent on education in these cities, their schools are failing nearly every student day in and day out, each and every year, with no end in sight.
Decades of Irresponsible Borrowing and Spending Come to a Head
Senator Anthony Bucco, the Senate Republican Budget Officer, issued the following remarks regarding Standard and Poor’s downgrade of New Jersey’s general obligation bonds:
“For more than a decade New Jersey irresponsibly borrowed, taxed and spent, often without voter approval, until the state is near the edge fiscal collapse. Standard & Poor’s downgrade is further proof that the tough decisions being made by Governor Christie are the only way to return New Jersey to fiscal health.
Responding to news that Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the State of New Jersey’s bond rating, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement on the Senate Majority’s failure to address needed financial reforms in last year’s legislative session:
“Standard and Poor’s sent a clear message to Legislative leadership today- get serious about reform,” said Senator Kean. “Pension reform, employee benefits reform, and other measures integral to fixing our state’s finances were put on the table last year by Governor Christie, but were left untouched by Trenton Democrats. This is an ambitious agenda, but one necessitated due to eight years of spending, borrowing, and dishonest budgeting by the very same legislators dragging their feet on reform today. The taxpayers are once again the victims, as more of their tax dollars will now be spent on interest and debt service instead of improving their communities.”
All Parties Must Have a Seat at the Reform Table, Especially the Taxpayers
Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding pension reform bills introduced in the Legislature:
“I am optimistic that Senate President Sweeney and I will be able to work together and come to an honest and fair solution to the crisis now facing the state’s pension systems. Any agreement must ultimately protect the long-term sustainability of the pension systems.
Governor Chris Christie has signed into law legislation prime-sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors to establish the “New Jersey Veterans’ Hospital Task Force.” The legislation creating the Task Force was also sponsored by Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove.
Once staffed, the Task Force will study, evaluate and make recommendations related to the construction and operation of a veterans’ health care facility in southern New Jersey. The Task Force will be comprised of 18 members that will include the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. Eight members appointed by the Governor will include prominent veteran leaders from across the State.
Without Immediate Action the System Will Default
Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced today to rescue the state’s pension systems:
“There is no doubt the pension funds are in serious jeopardy. More than five years ago, Governor Codey asked Phillip Murphy to investigate the ailing pension system. A few years later, the Senate and Assembly met in a special session to study the pension system further.
Eradication Plan Must Be in Place if Bed Bugs Are Found
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) that would require healthcare and residential facilities to have a bedbug maintenance plan in place with a licensed exterminator was unanimously passed by the Senate Health Committee today.
“Any facility where people stay overnight should have a plan in place, ready to be carried out at a moments notice should bedbugs be discovered, ” Singer stated. “Senior citizens, hospital patients and tourists throughout New Jersey all have a right to know that the bed they are sleeping in is clean, safe and free of bedbugs.”