WELCOME MESSAGE FROM SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY

Welcome and thank you for visiting this Web page. Earlier this year, I created this Web site to allow you to compare and contrast the differences between my pension and health benefits proposals and Governor Christie's proposals.

Now that a compromise bill will be going through the legislative process, I again wanted to present you, the taxpayers, with an opportunity to know the facts.

Unfortunately, too many misstatements and too much false information is being handed out by those who think the status quo in New Jersey is acceptable. We have to move past the rhetoric and misleading claims and get right down to the facts. This updated information will allow you to see exactly what my reform legislation entails.

As I have said in the past, it is unfortunate that too much of the public debate has been focused on pitting one group of residents against another. We can’t have that. The problems we face impact all New Jersey residents, whether they are public employees or not. The fact is the state’s public employee pension and health benefits system is reaching a breaking point, with well over $100 billion in unfunded liabilities. Yes, governors past and present refused to make their required contributions, and that has certainly played a major role in this crisis. But the facts also show a system that has been set to implode for years.

These measures will change the system in a way that is fair to middle- and lower-income workers and public employees. It will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year and give local officials the ability to rein in property taxes. And it will ensure that we can live up to the promises we made to career public workers for a secure retirement.

Only through a complete understanding of the issues at hand are we truly going to resolve these problems. I hope you find this Web site informative. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact my legislative district office.

All information Copyright 2011 Senate President Steve Sweeney. Web site produced in-house by the Senate Majority Office.