The New Jersey Senate and Assembly were in session on Thursday afternoon following committee meetings earlier in the day. Here is a summary of the day’s legislative action:
Statewide Earned Sick Leave (S-785/A-4103). The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its coalition partner, Working Families United for New Jersey (WFUNJ), have been leading the campaign for statewide earned sick leave legislation that would benefit all workers.
The bill allows workers to earn sick time for hours worked, and is a common-sense measure that is good for workers, good for public health and good for business. After all, who wants a sick employee preparing our food in a restaurant, handing us change in a store or fearing being fired for staying home to care for a sick child?
The Senate vote was 22 to 17. To see how your senator voted, CLICK HERE.
A similar bill is making its way through the Assembly.
Constitutional Amendment to Fully Fund Pensions (ACR3/SCR184). The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced a resolution sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot requiring the state to fully fund pensions. The vote was 4-1-1. Assemblymen John McKeon (D-27), Gordon Johnson (D-37), Joe Lagana (D-38) and Benjie Wimberly (D-35) voted yes. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39) voted no. Assemblyman Chris A. Brown (R-2) abstained.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO fully supports the constitutional amendment as the only way to force the state to abide by Chapter 78 and fully fund pensions. We have long advocated quarterly payments as a fiscally sound way to eliminate skipped or partial payments, legislation the governor vetoed. This simple budgetary adjustment would return millions in additional interest to our pension system and cut our unfunded liability.
The Senate Budget Committee advanced the resolution last week.
Motor Fuel Tax Dedication (ACR1). The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced this resolution, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, to amend the constitution to dedicate more money to the Transportation Trust Fund without raising the 10.5-cent gas tax or the 13.5-cent tax on diesel fuels. The amendment asks voters to dedicate all revenues from the motor fuels and petroleum products gross receipts tax to fund the state’s transportation needs. The committee vote was unanimous.
Prevailing Wages (A-3044/S-1944). This bill sponsored by Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo (IBEW 269) and Joe Egan (IBEW 456) and Parker Space (R-24) requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to create and maintain a list of contractors and subcontractors who fail to pay the prevailing wage on public projects and to disseminate the list upon request, among other provisions. The Assembly passed the bill 68 to 0. To see how your Assembly member voted, CLICK HERE.
Workers Compensation for First Responders (A-1347/S-264). The Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act ensures that public safety workers who are exposed to diseases, pathogens or toxins will be eligible for the care and treatment they need under workers’ compensation. The vote was: 45 to 23. To see how your Assembly member voted, CLICK HERE.
We thank our affiliates and community partners for their hard work in advancing these proposals that benefit the state’s working people.