TRENTON – Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine rewarded dozens of Democratic aides and department heads by appointing them to various government boards and commissions and allowing them to bolster their public pensions, but future governors won’t have that option if Gov. Chris Christie gets his way.
New Jersey has more than 100 boards, commissions and authorities filled with members chosen by the Governor’s Office. Some serve important roles, while others are more obscure. They all allow their members to continue earning credit toward the ten-year minimum required by the state pension system.
“This is stuff that’s been done by previous governors and previous administrations to keep their friends in the pension system in order to accumulate the number of years they need to get the maximum amount of payoff they can get from the taxpayers,” Christie said. “It’s wrong. It’s wrong when Republicans do it. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. In the end we are fleecing our own state.”
Christie said that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and senior staff will review the boards and their roles during the first half of the year, and he promised “a significant elimination” in their numbers.
New Jersey’s pension fund is $30 billion short of its obligation.
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