Senate to Act on Bipartisan Bill Protecting State Workers From Lost Pay During Shutdown

Sweeney Woolwich

Sweeney-Greenstein-Bateman Bill Will Ensure Employee Pay

 

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney announced today that the Senate will meet next week to act on bipartisan legislation to protect state employees from losing pay during the brief government shutdown.

The bill, to be considered by the Senate Thursday, will be sponsored by Senate President Sweeney, Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman.

“State workers should not be penalized for the government closure that was completely out of their control,” said Senator Sweeney. “We know that hard-working public employees depend on their paychecks and we want to ensure they don’t see them cut as a result of the brief shutdown.  I’ve scheduled a voting session for next week because addressing this issue is a priority.”

The bill provides that all involuntarily furloughed state employees under the three day implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order No. 228 shall receive their salary or wage payments for the period of the state government shut down from July 1 through July 3, 2017. The senators said the funding is already included in the state budget, so the legislation would not cost any additional money.

“State employees were caught in an unfortunate set of circumstances and many were unable to go to work, through no fault of their own. We cannot allow this to negatively impact the workers, who have dedicated their careers to public service, or their families,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer and Middlesex).  “We are acting quickly to make sure they are protected and that they receive full pay despite the brief closure. I want to thank the Senate President for moving expeditiously on this for the sake of the workers.”

“There is a clear precedent for ensuring furloughed workers receive retroactive pay, by working the cost into the State budget before it hits the Governor’s desk,” said Senator Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “Passing a state budget should not be a mad dash to the finish line and the public should not pay the price. The least we can do now is ensure that our hardworking state employees receive every dollar they have earned, and not a penny less.”

“We succeeded in implementing a budget that addresses important priorities, including a significant increase in school aid and support for a wide range of programs and services that residents depend on. We need to finish the job and ensure that state workers are compensated,” added Sweeney.

The Senate voting session is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017.