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(4th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on Wednesday said Gov. Chris Christie has inexplicably let down New Jersey taxpayers by failing to sign a bill he sponsored to prohibit new employees of lobbying organizations from enrolling in the taxpayer-paid benefits system.
“Gov. Christie has put the interests of lobbyists over taxpayers,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “That’s puzzling and inexcusable. Taxpayers deserve this protection but the governor instead favored lobbyists. This is real blow to our ongoing reform efforts.”
Moriarty sponsored legislation (A-2499 from the last legislative session) to ban enrollment in any state-administered retirement system for newly hired officers and employees of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Association of Counties, the New Jersey School Boards Association, any school board insurance group, any county college joint insurance group, any county or municipal joint insurance fund and any corporation designated to manage a special improvement district established by municipal ordinance.
The bill also would have eliminated the eligibility of these new officers and employees for health care benefits coverage through the State Health Benefits Program or through any health care benefits plan or program provided by a state or local government.
Christie included in the bill in his so-called Tool Kit, yet failed to take action on it before noon Tuesday. Thus, it expired and failed to become law.
“Gov. Christie should have made it a priority to sign this bill and put in motion a way to finally remove lobbyists from our pension system,” Moriarty said. “No bill is perfect, but this bill had bipartisan support and represented a huge leap in the right direction while building upon our pension reform bills. Instead, we will continue to have lobbyists in the pension system thanks to Gov. Christie’s failure to sign the bill. If the Governor truly wants to work together, this bill should have been signed.”