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New Jersey Democrats Push for Tax Increases to Cover Pension Shortfall


New Jersey Democrats join court battle over Christie’s pension funding cuts

APRIL 20, 2015, 5:24 PM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015, 5:25 PM

Democratic leaders in the state Legislature joined the court battle over Governor Christie’s funding cuts to the New Jersey pension system on Monday, arguing in a legal brief that public workers have the law on their side as they seek an extra $1.57 billion than Christie authorized this year.

Christie, a Republican, signed a major overhaul of the state pension laws in 2011. Among other provisions, the law gave public workers stronger contracts with rights to full contributions from the state’s yearly budget to their pension funds, which are underfunded by $37 billion.

Three years after signing the law, Christie now argues it is unconstitutional. He has cut $2.4 billion from New Jersey’s legally required pension contributions, paying $1.38 billion instead of $3.8 billion over the last two years in a last-resort effort to balance the budget. The latest cut is under review by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which has scheduled a hearing May 6.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both Democrats, submitted a five-page brief rebutting the central plank of Christie’s legal strategy. The 2011 pension overhaul is, in fact, constitutional, the lawmakers argue.

14 thoughts on “New Jersey Democrats Push for Tax Increases to Cover Pension Shortfall

  1. Once again, short-sighted proposals that fail to anticipate the unintended consequences.

    All this will do is make NJ is more undesirable as both a place to live and to do business in.

  2. thats why in a few years i will be in the south. they said years a go the will rise agin.

  3. Political stupidity reigns supreme by both parties, you made the damn deal now pay the bill and move on.

  4. yep pay up. no gave two shits about town workers. but now they do. yeah right. they should of paid up in the last ten years. tell the police and fire that.

  5. were not paying up to anyone…
    those days are OVER.
    take your union and sick it…your not getting another dime from me.

  6. This is great. When Christie stops his Presidential pipe dream, he will come back and wage nuclear war against the NJEA and the police & fire unions, as well as their bag carriers Sweeney and Sarlo (aka Senator Sanzari). $30,000 annual health care plans & benefits for free? Gone, they’re unprotected under NJ state constitution. Existing pension plans? Frozen. Defined benefit plans for new hires? Gone, and replaced with 401k/403b style defined contribution plans. Wages for state & municipal employees paid by the state? Frozen. Retirement ages? Raised. Here’s the roadmap: {} Given the gravity of this crisis, no part of the status quo,including an $83B unfunded pension liability,is acceptable. All tof these promises made were just unsustainable, the money is not there to keep these benefits going.

  7. Amazing how public sector workers are so envious of private sector wealth. They made the choice to work in public service, but now they complain about private sector wages and bonuses. Free markets are free markets and set the price for wages. Unionized labor artifically inflates the cost of their wages and benefits. But unfortunately, the pension hogs of NJ only want to raise income taxes 10% on everyone earning over $300K (the top 1% of NJ income earners), raise state sales taxes by 20%, and raise gasoline taxes 25c per gallon even though the Transportation Fund is a black hole of greed and corruption. Why? As one elite public pensioner in Ridgewood told me, “Get ready to reach deeper into your pocket and pay more property, income and gasoline taxes. I am not worried about my healthcare benefits being changed anytime soon… NJ can raise taxes on to continue the free health care I already enjoy.”

  8. Fortunately the private sector wage earners can only be taxed 100%. Who said you’d get rich working for the government?

  9. to 10;21 ok , don’t call the fire or police or any other dep’t to help you.

  10. Wow Benny. Are you suggesting that a tax paying resident wouldn’t get help from police & Fire because they exercised their right to free speech?

  11. to 10;21 and 12;50 just pay up. if you don’t like it move out of this state. and this not about free speech. they did not pay money into the fund, so now it’s time .but it’s ok for them to take money out and build a mall in the dump and it’s sinking, and now they don’t know when it’s going to be done. talk about a waste of your tax money.RIGHT, RIGHT.

  12. Uhh, right: who built Xanadu while charging outrageously inflated Hudson county mob + Union rates ? Sweeney, Sarlo and their thug Union and made men buddies. Go [email protected]& yourself pal.

  13. Ok Benny and Right, obiviously you are Union thugs as evidenced by your poor grammar…here’s the deal….I DONT NEED YOUR HELP. I have fire insurance and I’m armed to the teeth. And thank you 12:50 for getting my back.

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