Legislative Summary: State Budget, Horizon Restructuring Bills in Limbo

Grid lock on the State Budget and Horizon restructuring legislation has sparked talk of a government shutdown.  Yesterday, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO testified against S-4 (Vitale/Sweeney), the Horizon restructuring legislation, which was released from the Senate Budget Committee by a vote of 11-1-1 and is expected to pass the full Senate this Thursday.  The Assembly version, Sponsored by Assemblywoman Pintor Marin (D-29) has not been released from committee.  To see a letter from national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in opposition to the bill, CLICK HERE

The State budget was released from both committees and is expected to be voted on in both houses this Thursday. 

With so many important pieces of legislation moving in the final days prior to the summer recess, we urge all affiliates concerned with these bills to come to the State House this Thursday.

Other bills that advanced were:

S-3085 (Sweeney/Diegnan) Paid Family Leave Reform: The bill passed mostly along party lines, 22-14.  Democratic Senators Van Drew & Turner joined all Republicans present, except Senator Singer (R-11), in voting No. The bill seeks to reform various obstacles to workers seeking to utilize the state’s paid family leave program.  In addition to increasing the number of paid weeks from 6 to 12, the bill increases the weekly benefit and provides job protection for workers employed by businesses with over 20 employees.  The New Jersey State AFL-CIO supports the bill and thanks Senate President Sweeney and the other sponsors for their advocacy.  The bill is now on the Governor’s desk and is expected to be vetoed.

S-1162 (Sweeney) Prevailing Wage: The legislation seeks to apply prevailing wages to construction performed on tax exempt properties. The bill passed 23-15.

S-3312 (Sarlo / Bucco) Lottery Dedication toward Public Pensions: The bill seeks to transfer and dedicate the state lottery toward public worker pensions.  The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is neutral on the bill, which would not add any new revenue to the pension system and considered mostly an accounting gimmick that does little to stabilize the pension system.  It was released from the Budget & Appropriations Committee in both houses unanimously.

S-3226 (Ruiz/Sweeney) The Safe Transportation Job & Fair Employment Rules Act: The bill passed the Senate 23-15 mostly along party lines.  The bills seeks to regulate wages at certain types of transportation hubs, such as airports.  It has now passed both houses and is on the Governor’s desk.

S-3275 (Sweeney) Locked Out Worker Health Insurance: The bill provides health insurance for locked out workers. It passed the Senate 22-15.  The Assembly companion (A-4976: Houghtaling / Downey) has not yet advanced.

S-1285 (Vitale / Weinberg): Out-of-Network / Surprise Billing Reform: Supported by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, the bill was released from committee 7-0-6 mostly along party lines with Chairman Sarlo and all Republicans abstaining.

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