Posted on 24 Jun 2011
The New Jersey Assembly has passed landmark employee benefits legislation requiring public workers to pay sharply more for pension and health benefits.
The bill passed 46-32 Thursday with support from all Republicans who were present and several Democrats. The Senate had approved the bill Monday.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie is expected to quickly sign it.
The measure requires 500,000 teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers to pay a portion of their health insurance based on income. It also increases pension contributions. The state’s retirement funds are underfunded by $110 billion.
The bill’s backers say higher contributions are needed to ensure solvency. Opponents object to the four-year suspension of bargaining over health benefits.