On February 28th, Governor Christie presented his proposed State Budget for the fiscal year beginning
July 1, 2017. The $35.5 billion proposal will be Christie’s last State Budget! Against a backdrop of historically low approval ratings, Christie continues to blame public sector benefits for the $1 billion increase in state spending projected for next year.
Here are a number of items of interest to Local 195:
An increase in the State contribution to the pension funds by $650 million to a total of $2.5 billion. Still, well short of the contribution necessary to reach full funding.
Proposal to use Lottery funds to shore up state pension balances (no details provided).
The Budget assumes $125 million in public employee health care savings that would first have to be approved by state committees.
Additional funds were provided for addiction programs.
The Senate and Assembly Budget Committees will now begin to review Christie’s Budget proposal. The State Constitution requires a new Budget to be in place by 6/30.
Below is a partial list of the bills of interest to Local 195:
Requires quarterly pension payments
Sponsors: Prieto, Sweeney
SIGNED INTO LAW 12/15/16
Eliminates Seniority in Civil Service and other jurisdictions during RIF situations
Sponsor: Space (R24)
Limits payments to public employees for accumulated sick leave upon retirement
Sponsor: Handlin (R13)
Establishes the NJ Right to Work Act
Sponsor: O'Scanlon (R13)
Provides for employee time off for events related to
their children education
Sponsor: Jimenez (D32)
Permits towns to opt out of Civil Service
Sponsor: Bucco (R24)
Provides earned sick leave to all employees
Sponsors: Lampitt (D6), Mukherji (D33) and more
Requires the State to make the full pension payment
Stops local governments from offsetting pension contributions as Employer contributions.
Raises minimum wage to $15/hr. by 2021
Encourages Shared services in government.
Removes State College employees from Civil Service
Restricts political contributions by unions
Restricts use of sick leave prior to retirement
Reinstates pension COLA
Extends “whistleblower” protections
Allows enhanced pension investments in the Transportation Fund