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Gov. Christie leads bipartisan effort for fiscal sanity but Hoboken faces near term peril with law

Update:  The NJ State Assembly after hours of meetings and debate easily passed the legislation for reforming contributions by state workers in healthcare and pensions.

The actions means a change where the state’s fiscal life became important enough to address the cost of government employees.  It also makes New Jersey a model for the rest of the country as other states face similar problems.  Unlike others, NJ elected officials didn’t abandon their responsibility and run away from the financial problem when it didn’t suit a narrow special interest.

Gov. Christie is expected to sign the legislation Monday.  The provision in some of the numerous health care options for limiting out of state coverage was nixed before the final vote on the legislation and the State Senate will do likewise.

33rd District Assemblyman Ruben Ramos who would not vote in favor of the bill with the out of state provision voted no after its removal.

If projected retirements prove accurate Hoboken will see a double edged sword and quickly.  The City incurs added cost with retirements initially before recouping savings.  This legislation highlighted the possibility noted to the Beth Russo council here and by others in City Council meetings and all ignored in their effort at depleting the surplus in a one shot tax reduction.

Beth Mason a lame duck head of the City Council will look to put her final masterstroke to undermine Hoboken for her political gain.  Hoboken’s inability to handle financial challenges such as initial likely new retirements, means a tax increase and municipal layoffs.  She cynically believes it’ll set up her up  for a 2013 mayoral run.

Once again, Hoboken finds itself not standing to benefit from this positive state action but hindered by it due to the crass cynicism of its City Council.  The reason is the Beth Russo ‘majority’ – a lame duck group acting on selfish political interests, has set Hoboken up for failure.  They know it, you know it and the people of Hoboken know it.

Beth Mason is arranging a budget amendment meeting on the 29th to finalize the damage to Hoboken where a one shot tax relief leaves Hoboken unequipped to handle more retirement costs.  It’s only one of the problems the city may face being stripped entirely of its budget surplus.

The likely near term result of that madness: some tax increase AND layoffs.

Hoboken needs to rise up and slay the Beth Russo hydra once and for all before they can do any more damage.

June 23rd
Landmark Pension & Healthcare Reform anticipated to pass State Assembly

There’s been a day long union organized protest in Trenton with the State Assembly hours late in preparing to vote on Gov. Christie’s package of reforms impacting the state’s fiscal situation for the better but creating additional cost for state employees in healthcare benefits and pensions.

The Rat, nicknamed Scabby appeared in Hoboken last September at the police union protest.  It’s spent the day today in Trenton with equally unimpressive results.  Hoboken’s protest changed nothing and led to no layoffs and a police reorg saving the town several million dollars in costs including health care. 

The bill already passed earlier in the Senate by a large margin is expected to be tighter in the Assembly but more than a dozen Democrats are expected to vote for passage making the landmark legislation a bipartisan effort.

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos is anticipated not to be among those voting in favor of the bipartisan effort.  He was reportedly breaking with his local support in the form of Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack who urged him to vote for the legislation.  Assemblyman Ramos earlier complained about a out-of-state block for some lower health care coverage options, a mandate changed early this week.

A vote is anticipated for later this evening at 10 pm.

NJ.com has live blog coverage of the Assembly vote at the link:
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/nj_pension_health_benefit_refo.html

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