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Vows to Pursue Additional Reforms to Lobbyist Benefits, State & Local Authorities

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden) on Tuesday welcomed the passage of three public worker pension and benefit laws that contained reforms he has long supported to help save taxpayer money.

“This is great step forward for New Jersey’s taxpayers,” Moriarty said. “These reforms have been a long time coming, and now that they’re here, taxpayers will begin seeing immediate savings and we will create a more reasonable and sensible pension and benefit system.”

Moriarty in 2006 was among the first legislators to call for sweeping pension and public worker benefit reforms.

“It’s gratifying to see this process finally bring real results to help taxpayers save money in difficult times,” Moriarty said. “It hasn’t been easy, and change can be difficult, but the end result is worth it for both taxpayers and public workers alike. Taxpayers will save money and public workers will get a sustainable benefit system.”

The laws:

    Make numerous changes to public worker health benefits, mainly by requiring all public employees to pay at least 1.5 percent of their salary toward health benefits after the expiration of a current contract (A-2460);

  • Make numerous changes to other public employee benefits, mainly by limiting sick leave payouts for all new local and school employees (A-2459); and
  • Make numerous changes to public worker pension eligibility (A-2461).

Moriarty is sponsoring two additional reforms — one that would remove lobbyists from the pension and benefit system (A-2499) and another to control salaries and benefits at state and local authorities (A-2505). Both bills are expected to receive consideration later this spring.

“Our reform efforts will continue,” Moriarty said. “These are reasonable bills that will ensure the benefit system is used only for public workers, not lobbyists, and more closely align the salaries and benefits at independent authorities with other public workers. I look forward to seeing these become law in the coming months to further save money.”

Moriarty also noted reforms will mean little if Gov. Christie doesn’t fulfill his promised commitment to funding the pension system.

“These reforms are sound public policy that will benefit public workers and taxpayers, but they’ll mean nothing if Gov. Christie doesn’t live up to his obligation to fund the system, as he promised he would do,” Moriarty said.

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