Christie Signs Law To Cut Health Benefits; Malloy Also Seeks Trims
State employees' health benefits are at the center of cost cutting efforts in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Stateline Health Beat: Higher Health Care Fees For New Jersey's Public Employees
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has approved broad cuts to health benefits for the state's 750,000 government workers. The new law requires state and local employees and retirees to pay a much bigger share of their health insurance costs and eliminates their right to collective bargaining on health issues (Vestal, 6/29).
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Christie Signs Bill On Public-Worker Pension, Health Payments
Flanked by his "partner" Democratic State Sen. Stephen Sweeney and a bipartisan group of more than 60 mayors, Republican Gov. Christie signed a bill into law Tuesday that will require hundreds of thousands of public workers and retirees to pay more for their pensions and health benefits (Katz and Rao, 6/29).
Politico: Chris Christie Signs Bill Requiring Unions Pay More
In one of his biggest legislative victories since taking office, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law Tuesday that requires state workers to pay more for their pensions and health insurance. ...
Starting Wednesday, public employees will have to contribute an additional 1 percent of their pay to their pensions. Once their current contracts expire - or as soon as January if their contracts expire by then - state workers will also have to pay more for their health insurance (Epstein, 6/28).
Los Angeles Times: New Jersey Shifts More Costs To Government Workers
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Tuesday that would require government workers to pay more for healthcare and pensions, making the state among the largest in the nation to roll back employee benefits to offset fiscal woes. ... Christie has called the gap between what's been promised for public employees' retirement benefits and what's been set aside to pay for them "the most critical fiscal issue" facing states. New Jersey has unfunded liabilities in excess of $120 billion for retiree health costs and pensions. The Pew Center on the States has estimated the shortfall at more than $1 trillion nationwide (Simon, 6/28).
Connecticut Mirror: Malloy: With Union Deal Dead, Legislature May Have To Force Change
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today he will explore legislative options to curtail what he called state government's unsustainable, long-term health and pension costs, but he refused to say if he will seek a curb on collective-bargaining rights for state employees. "We attempted to do that through negotiation. That has failed," Malloy said. "The people of Connecticut still need systemic change and still need to have a sustainable relationship with their employee base, which is a way of saying there is more than one way to get that done" (Pazniokas, 6/28).
The Hartford Courant: Malloy: Lay Off 5,466 State Workers, Cut 1,000 More Jobs Now Vacant, Close Minimum Security Prison
The layoffs represented a stunning turnaround from only one month ago when Malloy, legislators and top union officials assumed that the rank-and-file state employees would approve a four-year, no-layoff deal that included a two-year wage freeze and changes to their health and pension benefits. Some legislators said it was a sweetheart deal that would have been approved immediately by workers in the private sector who have faced layoffs and pay cuts in recent years (Keating and Lender, 6/28).