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(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement after legislation (A-4133) he sponsored to revise public worker health and pension was approved 46-32 by the Assembly on Thursday:

“New Jersey’s economic reality cannot be ignored.
“As of the July 20, 2010 report from the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the post retirement health benefit deficit was $66.8 billion. On the pension side, the combined unfunded liability as of June 30, 2010 was $53.8 billion.
“These are real numbers that play a large role in our property tax problem, and these numbers are reality because for decades people from both parties failed to do the right thing to keep these systems strong for our public employees.
“As difficult as this is to ask people in this economy to pay more, this legislation will finally fix the fragility of this system.
“This bill will bring property tax relief, make benefits sustainable for the working families who rely on them and preserve collective bargaining for future negotiations. This protects both taxpayers and worker rights.
“It’s now our responsibility to safeguard these systems and make sure the problems that led to this legislation never happen again. That is our obligation and commitment to New Jersey property taxpayers and public servants.”