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AFP-NJ Interviews Senator Declan O’Scanlon on Pension Reform

Sep 10, 2020 by AFP

Conversation Highlights How Proposed Bipartisan Legislative Solution Could Save Taxpayer Money and Help the State Budget

Trenton, N.J. – Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey (AFP-NJ) released a recent interview today conducted by AFP Grassroots Engagement Director Ashely Rosone with State Senator Declan O’Scanlon, who explained how the current pension and budget crisis are interrelated. He firmly believes that despite the shortcomings in Governor Murphy’s budget plan, New Jersey can still balance the budget while addressing the pension crisis by passing bill S861.

Click Here to View Video

AFP-NJ State Director Tony Howley released the following statement in conjunction with the video:

“We applaud State Senate President Sweeney and State Senators O’Scalon and Oroho for advancing this piece of legislation that has the potential to solve the pension crisis in our state. After years of despair, New Jerseyans can find relief now that there is a path to redemption for the Garden State. We encourage our state lawmakers to prioritize and work together on this bill that serves hardworking citizens’ best interests.”

Background About S861:

The legislation proposes a hybrid defined 401K-type benefit and contribution plan that will save taxpayers thousands of dollars and make the current system operate more efficiently. Those who contributed to their pensions before these reforms are implemented would keep their savings, and public workers would still receive the benefits. The changes would only apply to new workers that are entering the system.

Senator O’Scanlon expressed that resolving the pension crisis will aid the budget issues that were bad before and exacerbated by the pandemic. New Jersey currently has one of the least fiscally healthy pension systems in the United States and nearly $200 billion in unfunded liabilities. He honorably admitted that together Democrats and Republicans made poor decisions until this point but asserted that now is the time to own it and tackle this issue head-on. Otherwise, if legislators maintain the status quo, the consequences could be irreversible.  

Senator O’Scanlon encourages activists and citizens alike to “be aware, be informed and be heard.” The proposed legislative solution has the potential to eliminate unnecessary borrowing and avoid tax increases. New Jersey must strive to keep the pension payment the same as last year to move towards a more balanced budget.