A package of public pension and health benefits change bills introduced just two weeks ago is being fast-tracked through the New Jersey Senate. The bills come before the full Senate today. Each has more than 21 co-sponsors — the minimum number needed to get through the Senate — virtually assuring their passage. The measures cap the unused sick days retiring employees can cash at $15,000; require public workers to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their salaries toward their health insurance costs; and bar part-time workers from enrolling in the pension system.
Public worker unions oppose the changes; municipalities applaud the reforms for their future cost savings.
The pension system is underfunded by about $34 billion and at risk of becoming insolvent. AP