A panel of economists and tax experts put together by the leader of the New Jersey Senate is recommending a variety of governmental changes to make the state more affordable.
The task force is suggesting new state and local public employees be shifted from the current defined benefit pension plan to a 401k-type plan and that all government workers get a less-expensive health care plan.
Among other proposed changes: merging school districts into regional systems that go from kindergarten to 12th grade, encouraging more shared government services, and changing some tax policies.
Republican Senator Steve Oroho says there’s bipartisan support for many of the ideas.
“A lot of these suggestions have been studied before. But now we’re going to have the political will to do it. We’re looking forward to working with the administration as we are with all our colleagues to getting this accomplished.”
Senate President Sweeney expects there will be opposition to some of the ideas but is hoping for bipartisan support to get many of them enacted.
“New Jersey is at the crossroads. In fact, we’re beyond the crossroads. We’re in trouble. And if we don’t start doing some things different immediately, we’re not going to be able to make our obligations.”
Senator Tony Bucco says some of the proposals should be easy to do but believes it’ll take the courage of the legislature to get others enacted.
“So we don’t lose more businesses, we don’t lose more people moving out of our state because they can’t afford to stay here.”
Click below to hear Doug Doyle's feature on the WBGO Journal.