Jersey Shore-s up its budget

Kudos to Chris Christie and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in New
Jersey for passing comprehensive reform of public sector workers'
benefits this week. The plan is expected to save the Garden State a
whopping $120 billion over the next thirty years by bringing the
benefits offered to teachers and other government workers closer in line
with the private sector. The reforms call for higher employee
contributions for pension and health care benefits for most workers,
suspend collective bargaining over health care, and raise the retirement
age. Still, Jersey has some heavy lifting ahead in addressing its
unfunded obligations, as retirees and long-tenured employees will
continue to receive health care free of charge—unlike nearly every other
worker in the country. Lawmakers in nearby states—we’re looking at
you, Connecticut—could
well take a lesson from Trenton's brave crew, in particular from the
Democrats who joined Christie in standing up to excessive union demands.

Click to play

Click to listen to commentary on the New Jersey budget from the Education Gadfly Show podcast

 

N.J. Dems Approve Sharp Rise in Teacher Pension, Health Care Costs,” The Associated Press, June 29, 2011.

What are states doing on retirement benefits?,” by Chris Tessone, Flypaper, June 29, 2011.