Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) released the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s decision to replace Tom Byrne as Chairman of the State Investment Council.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said Tom Byrne had integrity and understood that politics should not play a role in pension investment decisions. O’Scanlon is also concerned that the Murphy administration seems to be purging qualified public servants. (SenateNJ.com)
“Tom Byrne is one of the smartest people in government finance on either side of the aisle in New Jersey,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “Tom has integrity. He is one of the few people in Trenton who isn’t afraid to say ‘no’ to the unions. He is a fierce and fair advocate for pensioners and taxpayers alike. This is not the kind of public servant we should be losing.”
The State Investment Council was created by the New Jersey Legislature in 1950 to develop policies governing the investment of funds by the Director of the Division of Investment.
Tom Byrne, a Democrat and former chairman of the NJ Democratic State Committee, has served on the State Investment Council since 2010, most recently as chairman. A highly respected expert on State fiscal issues, Byrne was also a member of the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission. The commission put forward nonpartisan recommendations for cost-saving reforms in recent years.
“I commend Tom Byrne for having the courage to speak up about the need for pension and health benefits reform in New Jersey,” Senator O’Scanlon added. “He understood that politics should not play a role in pension investment decisions.
“The reality is that we cannot solve New Jersey’s affordability crisis without enacting the reforms he put forward as a member of the commission. We all owe Tom a debt of gratitude for his service to this state.
“I am very concerned that the Murphy administration seems to be purging qualified, intelligent public servants – with no regard to the high caliber of work they have done for the people of New Jersey, and the continued value they are throwing away. Working for Christie should not immediately disqualify someone from working for this administration. I sincerely hope that the next chairman of the State Investment Council will serve our state as honorably as Tom did. That person certainly has big shoes to fill.”