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With budget cuts looming, furloughed public workers may get federal help in NJ plan

Terrence T. McDonald | April 21, 2020 | North Jersey Record |

Public workers in New Jersey who have their hours reduced for three months would get a federally funded pay increase under a bipartisan plan backed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a plan his office says could save state, county and local governments more than $750 million.

A spokesman for Sweeney, D-Gloucester, says the Employee Job-Sharing Furlough Protection Act would ease the strain on state, county and municipal budgets, put more money in the hands of workers and help public entities avoid layoffs by using federal stimulus money earmarked in the CARES Act for people whose jobs were lost or hours curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure has not been introduced yet and it’s not clear when the Senate plans to meet next. Sen. Steven V. Oroho, R-Sussex, and Sen. Nellie Pou, D-Passaic, intend to cosponsor.

“The more money we’re able to put in people’s pockets, the greater opportunity they’ll have to spend that money in many of our local communities,” Pou said. “It’s really trying to help everyone.”


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