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Senate Approves Norcross Bill Requiring Future Public Employees To Live In New Jersey

Measure Would Grandfather Current Employees

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross, D-Camden and Gloucester, requiring all future public employees to live in New Jersey was approved today by the full Senate.

“This bill would require anyone wishing to accept a job as a public employee in New Jersey to live in the state,” said Senator Norcross. “New Jersey’s taxpayers pay their salaries and subsidize their health and pension benefits. It is fair and reasonable to ask public workers to live by the rules they enforce, and to pay into the tax system that pays their salaries.”

The “New Jersey First Act” would require all newly hired public employees to live in New Jersey or to move to the state within one year of taking a position. This means employees must establish their principal residence in New Jersey, making it their legal residence for the purposes of voting and paying taxes.

Current employees living over state lines would be exempt from the residency requirement.

“This legislation would not harm public workers who currently live out of state,” said Senator Norcross. “However, it will require that if they want to take a new public job in a different agency, they will have to make their home here. While I believe all public workers should be living and paying taxes in New Jersey, this bill has been carefully crafted to ensure no one experiences unnecessary hardship.”

The measure (S-1730) would cover all state, county and municipal employees as well as anyone working for political subdivisions of the state. Employees of public authorities, boards, agencies and commissions would also be subject to the measure. Additionally, the bill would cover all employees working within the educational system. A three-member committee, with one person each appointed by the Governor, Senate President and Assembly Speaker, would review individual applications for exemption in cases involving extreme hardship or other unique circumstances.

“The bill approved today is the result of considerable work and extensive discussions with all interested parties,” said Senator Norcross. “I am open to continuing a dialogue with stakeholders as this legislation moves through the Assembly to ensure the final bill meets both the needs of our public employees and of our taxpayers.”

The legislation now moves to the Assembly.

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