New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Introduces Resolution Disapproving Murphy’s $100 Million Back-Pay Giveaway

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Will Urge Senate on Thursday to Exercise Its Constitutional Authority to Withhold Appropriation for Retroactive Raises

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has introduced a resolution urging the Legislature to reject $100 million of retroactive back payments that Governor Phil Murphy is attempting to give to public employee union members.

Sen. Tom Kean will urge the Legislature to reject $100 million of retroactive back payments that Gov. Phil Murphy is attempting to give to public employee union members. (Pixabay)

“Governor Murphy’s plan to give $100 million of retroactive raises to public workers is obscene given his repeated statements that New Jersey is in such poor fiscal shape that we have no choice but to raise taxes by billions,” said Kean. “Thankfully the Governor has no ability to fund this giveaway to his union friends without legislative approval. As we debate the FY19 State budget tomorrow, I will urge the Legislature to exercise its constitutional authority to deny an appropriation for these unaffordable back payments.”

Kean’s resolution, SCR-127, disapproves of Governor Murphy’s proposal to award retroactive raises to approximately 32,000 Executive Branch employees in an amount totaling more than $100 million.

The Governor’s plan to provide the back payments follows his unilateral approval of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) that provides for the retroactive raises.

The resolution illustrates the excesses of the deal, highlighting the example of a public employee with a current salary of $70,000. Under the contract agreed to by Governor Murphy, that taxpayer-funded employee would receive an immediate windfall payment of $20,000 for retroactive pay increases. Further, the employee’s salary would immediately rise to approximately $87,000, representing a permanent pay increase of more than 23 percent.

“Middle-class workers in the private sector, employees of non-profits supporting our communities, and thousands of public servants who aren’t members of a politically influential union won’t get 23-percent salary increases or retroactive raises, but they’ll all pay through higher taxes for the massive checks that Governor Murphy wants to send to certain union employees,” said Kean. “For someone who talks a lot about fairness, the Governor’s giveaway to the CWA represents anything but a fair deal for New Jersey taxpayers.”

Kean said there’s no room for the lavish giveaway given the competing tax proposals being pushed by Governor Murphy and legislative Democrats.

“Governor Murphy is pushing a $1.7 billion tax increase plan, while Democratic legislators are offering a competing plan to raise taxes by $1 billion,” added Kean. “Given the severity of the multitude of tax raising proposals from Democrats, it’s shocking that none of them are looking for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary spending. This frivolous budget addition of $100 million to fund retroactive raises is a good place to start. I’ll urge the Senate to act tomorrow to cut off funding for the Governor’s excessively generous union agreement.”

Click here to view the resolution.

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