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

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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.…

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What’s next for N.J. public worker pensions?

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — With two major government worker pension court battles concluded, the next front in public workers’ fight for retirement benefits is a ballot question considering a constitutional amendment forcing the state to make annual contributions in the pension system.


The Legislature approved the ballot question last year and must pass it again this year with a simple majority in order to qualify for the fall election.…

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Who’s got N.J. pension amnesia? Christie or candidate Phil Murphy?

By The Auditor, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The Auditor always loves a good fact-check, so when Gov. Chris Christie took aim at 2017 candidate for governor Phil Murphy over pensions, it was clear that merriment would soon abound.

Addressing the Morris County Chamber of Commerce on Monday, the governor disparaged Murphy as “another multimillionaire Goldman-Sachs executive,” and, in a clear reference to defeated Democratic Gov.…

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Will Trump and Charter Schools Be Another Scam? Just Look at Pal Carl Icahn’s Lucrative School ‘Charity’

There are troubling parallels between Trump and Icahn, who used his charity to turn a profit while enjoying massive tax savings.

By George Joseph, AlterNet

Most people know Carl Icahn as a real-life Gordon Gekko—the investor who helped drive Trans World Airlines to bankruptcy, selling the company’s prime routes and saddling it with debt, while pocketing millions for himself.…

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Eyes On The Pensions

Union members were out in force Wednesday in Trenton supporting the labor State Investment Council (SIC) members and advocating for a reduction of the state’s extremely heavy investment in hedge funds. “Reducing our investment in hedge funds starts the process of keeping more pension contributions in the system, moving toward returning the neglected fund to good fiscal health,” AFTNJ president Donna M.…

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N.J. lawmakers clash over plan for public-sector pensions

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

EAST BRUNSWICK — Senate President Stephen Sweeney defended his proposal to constitutionally mandate billions of dollars in public-sector pension contributions on Friday from a Republican budget officer who argued that without union concessions New Jersey would go bust.

The debate at the Public Employment Conference, hosted by the state bar, was a replay of the debate in the Legislature last session and a telegraph of disagreements to come as the summer deadline for putting constitutional amendments on the ballot approaches.…

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N.J. pension debt grew to $43.8B last year

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — New Jersey’s public pension shortfall, already one of the worst in the country, got even bigger in 2015, according to new actuarial reports.

Unfunded liabilities in the state retirement system for government workers grew to $43.8 billion, as of July 2015. The state system had $85.2 billion in liabilities but just $41.4 billion in assets, 48.6 percent of the money needed to pay for promised benefits.…

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Volunteer to Save State Pensions

The labor movement is counting on you to ensure that we pass the Constitutional Amendment to guarantee that the state makes quarterly payments into the Pension Fund.  All unions working with the Coordinated Table are strongly encouraged to provide volunteers for labor walks between 9:00 am – 12:00 pm each Saturday in April and May at the staging locations listed below.…

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N.J. Legislature clears public worker pension ballot question

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — State Democrats on Monday pushed through a proposed constitutional amendment requiring the state contribute each year to the pension plan for government workers.

The 23-16 vote in the state Senate and 43-27-1 in the state Assembly fulfill the first in a two-part plan to place a referendum on the fall ballot asking voters to approve the amendment.…

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Take Action: Support Pension Funding

Write a letter to tell your state representatives to Support Pension Funding.

Requiring the state to live up to its obligation to fund pensions will restore New Jersey’s retirement system to fiscal health for the 800,000 active and retired workers who are counting on receiving the modest pensions they earned. Please send a message to your legislators in the state Senate and Assembly to convey the importance of passing resolution S-184/ACR-3 to place a ballot question for fully funded pensions before voters.…

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Senate President Revamps Payment Plan For Closing Deficit In Pension Fund

Sweeney’s tweak of proposed constitutional amendment may make plan more viable politically, but GOP leaders say it would just result in higher taxes

By John Reitmeyer

A subtle change has been made to the original draft of a proposed constitutional amendment on public-employee pension funding that legislative leaders want to put before voters next year.

The difference isn’t a substantial one when it comes to the already ugly numbers for the grossly underfunded pension system, but it could play a big role in how the pension-funding issue plays out politically, both in the short-term during the push for approval of the ballot question and in the long-term as state policymakers would work to fund it.…

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Op-Ed: Constitutional Amendment Will Fix Pension System, Benefit Taxpayers

Every year we don’t properly fund the pension system, the future cost goes up exponentially

Four and a half years ago, the governor and the Legislature passed bipartisan legislation designed to fix the pension system for teachers and state employees, which had developed a $50 billion unfunded liability due to the failure of both Republican and Democratic administrations to make the required pension payments over the previous 14 years.…

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