NJ Senate Passes Public Employee Pension, Health Reform Bill

TRENTON – Members of several public employee unions marched on the State House again today, in the so-called “Second Battle of Trenton” organized by the New Jersey Education Association. However, the Revolutionary War-themed protest did little to deter the state Senate from passing the controversial pension and health care benefit reform bill.

With little support from Democrats, the Senate voted 24-15 in favor of the bill that will require public workers to contribute a greater share of the costs of their health care and pension benefits.

Jim Beach of Vorhees, Fred Madden of Washington Township, Donald Norcross of Camden, Teresa Ruiz of Newark, Brian Stack of Union City, Steve Sweeney of West Deptford, Jeff Van Drew of Dennis Township and Jim Whelan of Atlantic City were the only Democrats who voted for the bill.

“I am encouraged by the bipartisan Senate vote today and the continued display of support for common-sense pension and health benefits reform,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “This is a watershed moment for New Jersey, proving that the stakes are too high and the consequences all too real to stand by and do nothing. As a result of Democrats and Republicans coming together to confront the tough issues, we are providing a sustainable future for our pension and health benefit system, saving New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and securing a fiscally responsible future for our state.”

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