NJEA today cheered the introduction of legislation to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would require the state to make its required pension contributions. NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer released the following statement:
“We commend Senate President Sweeney for taking this important step to secure New Jersey’s public pension systems. The state’s failure to make its full required pension payments over many years has left the funds in dire condition. By skipping and delaying payments year after year, the state has increased the cost of fixing the problem, and passed those costs on to our children. This constitutional amendment will finally put the state on the road to fiscal responsibility. It will ensure the solvency of the pension systems for both current and future retirees, and will save taxpayers billions of dollars in the long run by taking responsible action now.
“The New Jersey Supreme Court pointed the way toward this common-sense solution last spring when it stated that ‘the State must get its financial house in order” and that it must “forge a solution… that comports with the strictures of our Constitution.’ This amendment is that constitutional solution. It is time for us to implement it.
“This constitutional amendment will not add a single dollar to the state’s pension liability. In fact, by mandating responsible quarterly payments, it will eventually reduce that liability by many billions of dollars. Public employees and other New Jersey taxpayers as well should applaud this fiscally responsible approach to solving the state’s pension problem.
“We urge the Legislature to act decisively to put this amendment on the 2016 ballot.”
Published on Monday, December 7, 2015