Nicholas P. Scutari

14 Sep: Preview: Benefits Reform Panel To Hold First Public Comment Meeting Tuesday In Clifton

CLIFTON – The Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform has selected Clifton as the site of the first meeting it will conduct for purposes of gathering public comment on pensions and health benefits provided to state, county, municipal, and school district employees.

“We have spent more than a month gathering information from various experts and professionals from across the country,” said Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), one of the co-chairs of the joint committee. “Now New Jersey taxpayers and residents will have the opportunity to air their ideas and opinions on pensions and benefits reform. With everyone’s collective input, we will work to craft legislation aimed at putting downward pressure on property taxes.”

13 Sep: Scutari: State Health Benefits Program Must Be More Efficient And More Affordable

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Union, who serves as co-Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform released the following statement regarding today’s meeting:

“Today we begin our discussion of health benefits for public employees, and how they figure into the larger picture of benefits reform. The health care crisis is not merely confined to the State Health Benefits Program, nor are its negative effects experienced solely by public employers. As the cost of providing quality health care has skyrocketed, all New Jerseyans, and all Americans are faced with the fear that they will not have adequate insurance coverage. Employers both private and public are straining to meet the needs of their employees, sagging under the duress of ever increasing premiums with no imaginable end in sight.

31 Aug: Scutari Sees Potential Reforms For The Current Pension System

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, read the following opening remarks this morning at the panel’s hearing on the public employee pension system.

“Good morning and welcome to today’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform. I look forward to today’s discussion because I believe it will illuminate aspects of both defined contribution and defined benefit plans that are not readily apparent or understood. There is a tendency when talking about pension reform to envision only two possible outcomes: either we embrace the existing system, or we throw it out altogether in favor of something like a 401(k).

23 Aug: Scutari Says Wholesale Changes In Public Worker Benefits Needed

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, today said significant changes in public worker benefits “moving forward” are needed to provide meaningful taxpayer savings.

Officials from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services today told the joint panel that it would be illegal to change pension benefits for public workers who have accrued five years of service because of a 1997 State law enacted by the Legislature. In addition, the OLS officials suggested there could be serious legal problems effecting pension changes for workers with less than five years.

15 Aug: Benefits Reform Committee Calls On Governor Corzine To Expedite Contract Negotiations

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari and Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, wrote to Governor Corzine on behalf of the entire panel today to ask that he expedite pending contract negotiations with State employee unions to allow the committee to consider New Jersey’s contract obligations as they work to reduce the cost of State employee benefits in New Jersey.

The two legislators wrote that knowledge of the contract specifics, which would take effect next July, would allow the Committee to “best be able to execute our responsibilities” in terms of looking for cost savings in State benefits to stabilize and lower the property tax burden on New Jersey families.

09 Aug: Scutari Statement On First Meeting Of Benefits Reform Committee

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union and co-chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Employee Benefits Reform made the following statement today following the Committee’s first meeting:

“I’m going to be blunt with the public – our pensions and benefits system in New Jersey is broken. Costs are soaring out of control and our liabilities are skyrocketing. This committee is going to have to work hard and think creatively to rein in the system.

31 Jul: Scutari To Co-Chair Tax Reform Panel On Public Worker Benefits

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Union, Middlesex and Somerset, made the following comments after being named co-chair of the Joint Committee on Public Benefits Reform by Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr.

“I look forward to the opportunity to address in substance the challenge of reforming our pension and benefits system. In doing so, we hope to reduce a skyrocketing liability that hampers all levels of governments’ ability to plan prudently and eliminate the long-term mortgage on our future. We need a system that is fair both to hardworking public employees and to New Jersey taxpayers.”

08 Jun: Senator Scutari’s Remarks To The Senate Health Comittee On S-88, ‘The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act’

“Chairman, members of the Committee, good afternoon.

“I would like to open today by thanking you, Mr. Chairman, for scheduling this informational hearing on my bill, S-88, The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This is not an issue that is bereft of controversy; medical marijuana has both passionate advocates and detractors. Therefore this hearing marks an important opportunity to better educate the public about a subject that is often obscured by the harsh rhetoric, conjecture, and misinformation that attends such heated debate.