(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic) and Joe Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic) requiring the state to make quarterly pension contributions received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The bill (A-4605) would require the state to make its required pension contributions on a quarterly basis on August 1, November 1, February 1 and May 1 of each fiscal year rather than making a single annual contribution. This payment schedule would prevent the state from raiding the pension fund to balance the state budget at the very end of a fiscal year in the event of a revenue shortfall.
“The governor cannot continue to treat New Jersey’s public employees like playthings when it comes to the budget,” said Wimberly. “Once again, his only plan involves cutting the state’s pension contribution in an attempt to cover up his administration’s mismanagement. Our state’s public workers who kept their part of the deal deserve better than the broken promises of this administration.”
“Unlike the governor, public employees don’t get the luxury of not making their pension contributions,” said Lagana. “Our teachers, police officers, firefighters and so many others who have served New Jersey honorably have seen their benefits reduced over the last few years by a governor who said he wouldn’t touch their pensions. Now, by deliberately disregarding his duty to make pension payments, he simply adds insult to injury with his budget proposal. Enough is enough.”
The bill would take effect immediately.
The bill was approved 52-6-16 by the Assembly and 25-15 by the Senate.