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New Jersey abandons toothless reforms

by john stephenson / /

What a difference a day makes!

On Monday, I blogged about New Jersey's General Assembly taking up a toothless reform to public employee pay and benefits. The measure, AB 3393, would have required arbitrators to consider but not actually limit costs of benefits to government in determining their awards.

The General Assembly was poised to take up the bill, but dropped it after a caucus meeting of the Democrats, who have a majority in the chamber, revealed that there were not enough votes in support of the plan. According to the Ashbury Park Press, lawmakers from Essex County complained, rightly so, that AB 3393 would not do enough to control costs faced by local government. Two of the strongest critics of AB 3393 have been the New Jersey League of Municipalities and Joseph DiVincenzo, the Essex County Executive. The measure in its current form appears to be dead. All sides in the debate are taking about going back to the drawing board and finding a compromise.

For the sake of New Jersey taxpayers, let's hope they come up with something better than toothless reforms...and soon.