Senator Anthony Bucco, the Senate Republican Budget Officer, issued the following statement regarding Governor Christie signing three pension reform measures into law last night.
“It is significant that the governor chose three reform measures as the first bills he signed into law. These three measures have been five years in the making.
“The absolute necessity of reforming the pension system was brought to the front burner in December 2005 with the publication of the Murphy Report. The Murphy Report recommended many of the steps that were adopted yesterday.
“The reforms that we adopted yesterday are a good first step towards ensuring that the obligations that the state made to its employees are safeguarded while making the entire system more affordable for the taxpayers of this state. Sadly, there has been a lot of misinformation distributed and scare tactics employed by the defenders of the status quo.
“Let me be clear, these reforms are reasonable and in a large part prospective. The reforms include:
- a provision that would prohibit part time employees from joining the state pension system;
- a provision that would require all employees to contribute to their health care package;
- caps on the amount of unused sick time public employees are able to retire with.
“These reforms will save municipalities and school districts hundreds of millions starting immediately. This was a bipartisan bicameral effort that will make New Jersey more affordable for middle-class families. Much more needs to be done and I am confident with the new era of leadership in Trenton we will be able to accomplish much more.”