N.J. public worker pension referendum moves closer to ballot - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

N.J. public worker pension referendum moves closer to ballot

Taken from NJ.com, June 27, 2016

TRENTON — The state Assembly took its final step Monday toward placing a referendum on the fall ballot asking voters to commit to spending billions of dollars to repair the public worker pension system.

With the governor cut out of the ballot question process, it is now up to the Democratic-controlled Senate to see the referendum onto this fall’s general election ballot.

The Assembly approved the measure 50-25 with two absentions. Both houses approved the referendum last year, and need to do it again this year to get it on the November ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment (ACR109) would put an end to two decades or erratic funding and replace the governor and Legislature’s broken promise to fully fund the system with a constitutional one.

The amendment would put the deeply underfunded government worker pension system on a path toward more solid footing, but it would also fence off a big pot of money Gov. Chris Christie has used to hedge against hard times.

Christie cut $2.24 billion from planned pension payments over two years after New Jersey’s economy post-Recession failed to live up to expectations.

While the amendment, if approved by the voters in November, would be a major victory for public workers, some lawmakers have warned that restricting access to that cash would greatly limit the state’s ability to respond to future budget shortfalls.

Read more here.