Trenton — Senate President Steve Sweeney today issued the following statement on S2606/A4352, legislation that would shift public employee health benefit costs from public employees to taxpayers:
“Unless we enact the sensible reforms outlined in the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup’s ‘Path to Progress’ report, pension and benefit costs will rise $4.1 billion over the next four years, creating a massive budget deficit and crowding out spending on other priorities, including K-12 education, college affordability and social services.
“I will not post the bill for a vote because the taxpayers of New Jersey deserve the major structural reforms needed to fix the fiscal crisis. They cannot afford it and public employees won’t realize any lasting benefits.
“The best way to achieve ‘Chapter 78 relief’ is by lowering employee out-of-pocket healthcare premium costs with sensible reforms, like shifting from Platinum-Plus to Gold-level coverage, by enacting a strong Third Party Administrator bill and by expanding Patient-Centered Medical Home options.”