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Turner/Madden Legislation To Provide Annual Adjustments To Temporary Disability Benefit Contribution Rates Clears Senate Committee

A view of the Senate Chambers from the 2010-2011 Senate Reorganization.

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer) and Fred Madden (D-Gloucester, Camden) to reduce the amount of money employees pay into the Temporary Disability Insurance fund was released from the Senate Labor Committee on Monday.

“The Temporary Disability Insurance fund will begin running a surplus by 2013 and be adequately funded,” said Turner. “It makes sense then that we should reduce the amount of money that we collect from workers. The tax reduction will result in workers’ bringing home additional pay, giving them more disposable income to help stimulate our state’s economy.”

“Public and private workers use temporary disability benefit funds, so this bill will be a big step forward in alleviating the cost of them doing so. It is a simple, efficient measure to put money back in the pockets of working residents, something we need to be doing more of,” said Madden, Chair of the Senate Labor Committee.

The bill (S2609) would require the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, beginning in 2012, to make annual adjustments in the rate of contribution paid by workers into the Temporary Disability Insurance fund.

Over the past 16 years, a total of $773 million in funds that workers paid into Temporary Disability Insurance has been diverted to help balance the state budget. Last November, voters approved a Constitutional amendment to ensure that assessments on employee wages by the state be dedicated to the payment of employee benefits and not diverted for other purposes.

The legislation now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

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