TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg is planning to introduce a resolution urging certain paid members of boards and commissions in state and local government to waive three-month’s of salary and pay their own and their public employer’s pension contributions.
The proposed Senate Resolution, which is being drafted, would ask board and commission members who work fewer than 25 hours per week to forgo their pay and make the pension contributions for a period of three months as part of an effort to help the state close a gap in the current state budget.
�As we all continue to grapple with the devastating economic conditions we�re facing, it is important everyone does what they can to make sure the pain is being shared fairly,� said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. �Governor Corzine is planning to impose on state workers one unpaid furlough day in May and one in June. It is only fair that paid members of boards and commissions, most of who are have other jobs, step up and show they are also ready to make a sacrifice.�
Weinberg pointed out some boards and commissions meet just a few times during the course of the year. In addition to their pay for very part time positions, many do include eligibility for public pensions and health benefits.
�Most of the people serving on these boards and commissions have other sources of income and are in a better position to be able to bear the financial burden,� Senator Weinberg said. �We are telling state workers they will have to give up two days� pay before the current fiscal year ends June 30. There continue to be discussions concerning wage freezes and the possibility of layoffs to get the state through this crisis.�
�The least we can do is to ask people fortunate enough to have secured positions on publicly funded boards and commissions to contribute, even a relatively small amount, to our efforts to get through this economic downturn,� Senator Weinberg said. �It is the fair thing to do.�
In addition to dozens of operational commissions, the resolution, which the Senator plans to introduce Monday, would be directed at members of county boards of taxation, water and sewer authorities and others.
Among others, the list of paid board and commissions includes the Council on Affordable Housing, the Local Finance Board, the Civil Service Commission, the N.J. Public Employment Relations Commission, the N.J. Real Estate Commission, the Casino Reinvestment Authority, the N.J. Maritime Pilot and Docking Pilot Commission, county boards of taxation, and the various sewer and water authorities operating around the state.
Senator Weinberg noted Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. just announced state legislators and employees in the legislative branch are also going to take two unpaid furlough days to help close the gap in the state FY 2009 budget.
�This is not a time for anyone to be standing on the sidelines watching while others take action to deal with this problem,� Weinberg said. �We must all work together to get our state through this difficult time.�