NJ Democats Bringing Back Many Bills Christie Rejected

Feb 6, 2018

New Jersey Statehouse

A bill advancing in the New Jersey legislature would authorize the state’s police and firefighters’ unions to manage their own pension funds.

Pat Colligan, the president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, says the policy change would help the unions improve the performance of their funds.

“We looking to just modernize and be able roll into different investments as the markets dictate, make faster decisions.”

Former Governor Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill last year. 

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley says it’s one of many bills that majority Democrats are bringing back, hoping that Governor Phil Murphy will sign them.

“I think this is going to take up a lot of the legislature’s time.  I think they’ve been anticipating this opportunity for many months, even years, and now is the time. The iron is hot. They will strike.”

While Democrats appear united in trying to reverse Christie’s actions, Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale says that could change when lawmakers take up major policy issues.

“All of the things that we’re seeing right now are things that Democrats have wanted, that are important, but they’re not sort of the core plans of either Phil Murphy or Steve Sweeney. So, we’ll see what happens when we get to the big ticket items.’

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison says all of time spent on bringing back bills that Christie rejected could be devoted to tackling other issues.

“Whether that is the economy, whether it is true pension and budget reform, at least negotiations or talks about that.  Doing things that would create a positive revenue stream, or at least planning for those things, so when it comes to the budget we’re not in a crisis situation.”

Governor Murphy will deliver his first state budget plan to the legislature next month.