Governor Corzine Negotiating Taxpayers Into a Trap Of Higher Taxes
“Corzine said he would endorse pending legislation to "ensure there will be no premium sharing for retirees now or in the future," the New Jersey Education Association said in a message to members last week.”
Since 2002, the cost for New Jersey’s public employees’ health insurance has been increasing by double digit percentages. In 2002, retired public worker health insurance cost taxpayers $50.8 million. According to the state’s Benefits Review Task Force that number will be $2.3 billion in 2010.
“Gov. Jon Corzine, who highlighted the staggering tab for the medical benefits promised to retired public employees in his budget speech last week, has pledged that retired teachers won't have to help pay their $53.6 billion share of the bill.”
“The post-retirement medical benefits promised to 325,000 working and retired teachers are scheduled to cost the state $53.6 billion, a recent accounting report showed. That's about two-thirds of the $78 billion bill that taxpayers face for the retirement health benefits for all public employees.”
“The promise was worked by Corzine in a side deal with the state teachers' union this month while he hammered out a separate four-year collective bargaining agreement with state workers.”
“Corzine said the proposed guarantee of free retirement coverage for teachers simply continues the existing system, and would apply only to teachers already on the payroll or retired. For future hires, he said, local school boards can negotiate post-retirement insurance payments in contract talks.”
This pending legislation on retiree health insurance would tie the hands of all future governors, just as legislation to hike public employee pensions by 9 percent did in 2001. Corzine’s deal would “simply” lock in an existing system that has produced a crushing tax burden that will only get worse in New Jersey as time goes by.
Stop this “pending legislation” NOW!