Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco and Senator Kevin O’Toole issued the following comments regarding the announcement by Senate President Steve Sweeney that pension and benefits reform would be a top priority.
“My colleagues and I are all-too-aware that the pensions and benefits systems are unsustainable at the current time,” Kean stated “This effort will build on the bipartisan cooperation on pension reform that was successful in the last legislative session. It is vital that we complete the process of identifying and implementing necessary reforms to ensure that rank and file employees’ retirement funds are safeguarded.”
“Three years ago, as a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, I was pleased to co-author a report that out lined 41 specific recommendations that would help return our pension and benefits systems to fiscal health,” O’Toole continued. “This is a good place to start, although as I noted in the report issued by the committee in November 2006, several areas need stronger recommendations to be truly effective.”
“Sadly, in 2006 the governor and his administration chose not to implement the Legislature’s recommendations. Only by working together in a bipartisan manner will we be able to effect long term reform,” Bucco concluded.
The 2006 report is available here.