New Jersey would make it harder for public employees who commit crimes to collect their pensions under a bill legislators are fast-tracking through the state Assembly.
The proposed reforms to the state’s pension law were recommended without discussion Thursday, Sept. 29, by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, just one week after they were introduced. That allows the measure to move to the Assembly floor for a vote expected on Monday.
The legislation would tighten the criteria under which pension boards decide whether former government workers convicted of on-the-job misconduct should lose some or all of their pensions. It would also expand the list of offenses that automatically disqualify public employees from receiving those benefits.
That change would take more pension decisions out of the hands of the state’s retirement boards, which are often reluctant to strip officials of their full pensions, under a process in which they weigh offenders’ misconduct against the good they did throughout their careers. The proposal would also revamp how boards consider those factors, making it easier for them to refuse to grant benefits.
To become law, the bill would have to pass the Assembly and Senate and be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. So far, no Senate version has been introduced, and its potential fate in the upper chamber remains unclear.
Author(s): Riley Yates, NJ.com
Publication Date: 30 Sept 2022
Publication Site: Governing