Lou and Riletta's photo album
State pension reform / Small, welcome step
Some reforms, however, remained. The bill raises the retirement age for future state workers from 60 to 62, requires government workers and teachers to earn at least $7,500 a year to receive a pension and requires employees to work a minimum of 20 hours to qualify for health benefits.
All of the pension-related measures apply only to new employees - current employees would be unaffected.
The bill also eliminates Lincoln's Birthday as a state holiday - a largely symbolic move. Gov. Jon S. Corzine promptly said he may give state workers the day after Thanksgiving again in return.
Those southern New Jersey legislators who did act courageously on this issue should be congratulated. Atlantic County Democratic Sen. James Whelan, a teacher, has had to face the wrath of his colleagues, but voted in favor of the bill. State Sen. Stephen Sweeney of Gloucester County, a union leader, and his Assembly team spearheaded the reform effort. Cape May and Cumberland county Democrats Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Matthew W. Milam voted yes as well, along with Ocean County's Republican legislative team.
Read the rest of the editoral online at the AC Press
Star Ledger: "Backbiting on the budget"
The budget process in Trenton is always ac companied by whining. It's just a matter of who's doing it.
Generally the party out of power complains about being ignored. Those getting less carp about being singled out.
So it is this year.
Republicans are moaning that they had a better budget idea, but nobody paid attention. Mayors are crying that less state aid will force them to make tough choices that the state sidestepped.
When they're out of power, Republicans routinely reject budgets that increase spend ing. But this year, Gov. Jon Corzine and Democrats crafted a budget that cut costs by $600 million -- something Republicans would presumably applaud. Instead, they rejected it
Read the rest of the editoral online at the Star Ledger's site.
DRPA Won't Fund Soccer Stadium
By Jeffrey Nash, Camden County Freeholder
The Delaware River Port Authority recently funded projects that will benefit the port economy and create jobs. The funds used for this purpose had been languishing on unproductive projects for more then eight years without any return on investment. Now, the money will be put to more productive use.
Unfortunately, there has been misinformation concerning the port authority's reallocation of these funds. The money will not be used to build a soccer stadium in Chester, Pa., as reported, and there is little connection between the use of the port authority's economic development accounts and the cost to motorists who use the bridges.
Notwithstanding the misinformation, any significant spending by the port authority understandably strikes a nerve with a suspicious public. That concern today is fueled by memories of past spending practices by former administrations.
Read the rest of the op-ed at the Courier-Post Online.