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Weinberg: Limiting Pensions Of Political Appointees Would Rein In Most Egregious Spending Woes

TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, a member of the Senate State Government Committee released the following statement today regarding the Panel’s approval (4-0-1) of S-1962, which would set limits on the number of hours employees must work to be included in the State Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). Senator Weinberg abstained from today’s vote.

“While cutting wide set costs to rein in pension abusers, we’ve left out millions of dollars being paid to current political appointees on various boards of government, at the local, county and state levels.

“As we work now to help reform the pension system, it is imperative that we also craft legislation that would treat appointees as new hires, upon expiration of their current term. Limiting the pensions of these appointees would help to rein in some of the State’s most egregious spending woes, and save much needed taxpayer dollars.

“In the legislation the Committee approved today, we addressed future pension liabilities, but did absolutely nothing for our current budget. By crafting new legislation to establish limits for political appointees, we’re letting part-time workers know that we’re serious about cutting abuse at all levels.

“In the coming days, I will be introducing legislation to ensure that these political appointees are held to the same standards as all part-time workers in New Jersey. Initially, I offered this idea as an amendment to S-1962, but the Committee voted to table it. A number of Committee members encouraged me to introduce a separate bill, addressing the issue of political appointee pension abuse, and I’m confident that I’ll have bi-partisan support when it comes up for a vote. We cannot allow this budget to be balanced on the backs of our hardworking, part-time and low wage earners.”