Gov. Christie had the opportunity to put the people of New Jersey before his own political ambitions by signing a budget that protects working families, funds public pensions according to the law and raises taxes on the wealthiest.
Instead, he slashed pension funding, wrongly labeled benefits as ‘bloated’ and blamed ‘a broken system’ rather than his own refusal to fund it.
Despite the governor’s rhetoric, New Jersey pensioners are NOT getting something for nothing. The state’s average pension benefit is among the least generous in the country – PERS ranks 95th in generosity out of the country’s 100 largest pension systems, according to a joint analysis by Keystone Research and New Jersey Policy Perspective. A NJ Spotlight study shows government workers in New Jersey pay more for health insurance than anywhere else in the country.
Christie’s budget shields the wealthy and businesses from any shared sacrifice while again hurting working families.
Everyone is obeying the pension reform law – except the governor who signed it! Retirees forfeited their cost-of-living increases, active employees saw their pension contributions rise by 36 percent to 7.5 percent of their pay, local governments have never skipped a payment, and the Legislature again passed a budget that includes the required pension payment.
We thank Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for sending the governor a responsible, balanced budget that fulfilled the pension obligation. We wonder how a would-be presidential candidate can keep breaking his own pension law by skipping legally required payments.
We won’t be fooled again by the governor’s broken promises! We will do whatever it takes for however long it takes fully fund pensions.