(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver and Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce on Friday announced that Assembly legislation to reform public worker pensions and health benefits will be introduced next week.

The Assembly leaders said they expect bill sponsorship to be finalized and announced early next week, with the bills introduced on Thursday. The bills are expected to mirror the ones that cleared a Senate committee on Thursday and are slated for Senate votes on Monday.

Oliver (D-Essex) said the Assembly Budget Committee may also convene a special public hearing on public worker pension and benefit reforms as early as next week.

“This is the first step in what will be a thorough and studious review of our broken pension and benefit system and what needs to be done to fix it,” Oliver said. “Our system has become unsustainable for taxpayers and public workers alike, so changing this system is a priority. But we also must ensure that we do this right to try to fix this problem once and for all, so I hope all sides welcome the coming debate and bring their ideas to the table.”

“Enacting meaningful pension and health benefits reform is a top priority for the Legislature,” said DeCroce (R-Morris). “The fund is deep in debt and unsupportable at current benefit levels. This bipartisan package of bills will provide relief to taxpayers and treat those employed in the public sector fairly. It is an essential first step in providing meaningful change, resolving one of the state’s biggest expenses and easing the local property tax burden.”

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