Sweeney-Greenstein-Bateman Bill to Protect Public Employees from Losing Wages Signed By Governor
Gov. Christie has signed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman to provide back pay to workers who were involuntarily furloughed during the three-day state government shutdown. (SenateNJ)
The Governor today enacted bipartisan legislation to protect state employees from losing pay during the government shutdown. The law, S-3422/A-18, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, will ensure worker pay for the three days the state government was closed at the beginning of the new fiscal year starting July 1.
“Sending our legislation to the Governor’s desk was the only way to secure back pay for the thousands of public employees who were forced to stay home during the shutdown. I think that we can all agree that this was not their fault,” said Senator Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “There is no justification for continuing to force hardworking New Jersey residents to pay the price for the government’s failure to pass the state budget in time.”
“The state employees who were prevented from doing their jobs during the government shutdown will not be penalized by losing pay for the brief time that government was closed,” said Senator Sweeney. “The hard-working employees who perform public service jobs were unable to do their jobs through no fault of their own. We acted quickly on this bill so there is no uncertainty in the minds of the workers. They rely on their paychecks to support themselves and their families.”
The law provides that all involuntarily furloughed state employees under the three day implementation of the governor’s executive order closing government shall receive their salary or wage payments for the period of the state shut down from July 1 through July 3, 2017.
“State employees should not be caught in the middle of what was an unfortunate set of circumstances. We recognize that they rely on every dollar of their pay, so we made it a priority to ensure they receive their full wages for the time period state government was closed,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer and Middlesex). “I want to thank the Senate President for moving expeditiously on this for the sake of the workers.”
The senators said the funding is already included in the state budget, so the legislation would not cost any additional money.
The legislation was approved by the Senate 32 – 0 on July 13 and by the Assembly 68 – 0 on July 31.
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