I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What A Day...

Really, what is there left to say? NJ sinks lower than I ever thought possible.

The following people are complete sell-outs to middle-class professionals working in the public sector:
All four of you are dead to us. Goodbye.

There are also some heroes:
Assembly members Wayne DeAngelo, Daniel Benson, Patrick Diegnan, Reed Gusciora, Vincent Prieto and Connie Wagner, and state Sen. Ray Lesniak, blasted the legislation and said the changes being proposed should be negotiated, not legislated.

"There's a lot of sheep inside, and the lions are out here fighting," Gusciora said as lawmakers inside the Statehouse took up the bill, designed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, at a Senate budget committee hearing.

"I am a real Democrat -- I will defend collective bargaining," Wagner said.
Lesniak said he will introduce legislation reviving a millionaires tax, which would raise the marginal tax rate for people earning more than $1 million, on Monday. Gusciora and Wagner quickly jumped onboard with that proposal.
I'll be dismantling the bill over the next few days, but let's start with the obvious: this bill does nothing - NOTHING - to rein in exploding health care cost inflation. It does nothing to address pension underfunding by the state.

All it does is ask public workers to pay for the failure of a bought and paid for legislature to deal with serious problems that THEY created.

No one should support this bill until:

  1. It explains how it will contain health care costs.
  2. It gives a plan for the state and locals to make up for years of missing payments into the pensions.


calugg said...

I'm not in the state pension plan (was advised against joining when I came to NJ---Whitman had just stopped funding it), but the health care bill is also a nightmare. It's a gigantic gimme to Norcross's hospital and University Hospital in Newark, with the ban on out-of-state hospitals. It also limits mental health and cancer care--which I wonder if they can do that (see federal law).

I'm hoping this thing dies in the assembly. But I'm not too hopeful.

commutingteacher said...

Please add a #3 to that list:
Unions must have the details of the health care plan presented so it can be reviewed in a timely manner before implementation.

I say this because, apparently, out of state hospitals may not be covered and some of the best children and cancer facilities are not in NJ. It makes no sense why there is not freedom of choice in this if that is true.

calugg said...

Here's the relevant language from a commentator at Blue NJ:

Medically necessary tertiary health care services may be
performed by an out-of-State specialty or subspecialty health care provider when there is no in-State health care provider reasonably available to treat the particular condition based on an expedited determination by the carrier and the commission or plan
administrator, in consultation with the Department of Health and
Senior Services, that such service is not otherwise available through
an in-State health care provider, or when there is no in-network
provider who is reasonably proximate to the covered person's place of residence. Such treatment by the out-of-State health care
provider for tertiary care shall only be performed on the basis of a
referral from an in-network health care provider.


thinker said...

I don't understand why people don't see that this does nothing to save them money. So, public employees now pay more for pension and health benefits-exactly how much more and those implications will be interesting to see. Meanwhile, the savings to the state go where? Back into the taxpayers pockets? No? Personally, I won't hold my breath for that to happen! So now public employees pay more, the state gets slightly more money in the budget (which they will promptly spend), and we taxpayers will not only not see lower taxes, but will likely see premiums climb even higher as the insurance companies are futher enboldened to raise rates unchecked. Am I the only one who sees this or I am just totally paranoid? In essence, the only real "winners" here are the insurance companies.

Ultimately, between caps and legislative salary controls (which is precisely what this is) on public employee salaries, you will see a shortage of police, fire, teachers, etc. Of course, right now, it seems like that will never happen...there is a glut of teacher candidates for every job afterall (except Math and Science). There will NEVER be a shortage, right? I mean, there has never been one before when salaries got too low....oh, wait.

I hear NJ is losing about 1/4 of its superintendents this year. But go right ahead people, keep believing that there will be people to work no matter what the compensation, let's see what happens.