Many goings on……

Labor Negotiations and Legislation:  Believe me there are no “done deals” here.  There is much going on “behind the scenes”, which actually does include “negotiations” with labor unions.  How it works out, I am not prepared to predict. The sandy ground shifts moment by moment in this saga. Let me assure you that Democratic legislators – and their leadership in both houses – are very engaged in these discussions. People are searching for the balance of protecting fairness for our public employees, protecting the viability of our pension system, and protecting the taxpayers. It’s no easy task, but it’s not yet done!

NJN: What a quandry! The Senate Budget Committee will also have a hearing on this contract. I have lots of questions. Are the taxpayers getting full value for this “hand-off”?  Are New Jersey viewers getting any kind of guarantee of hard news broadcasts? Can we in the legislature get “new” things into this contract?

The Budget: I’m among those pushing for Dems to put in our own budget. Yes, we are an “equal” branch of government, and yes under our constitution Mr. Christie might get the final word! But we are elected to stand for “something”, and those priorities in which we believe should be set in the New Jersey budget. That’s what budget making is about. Take the “available” revenues and then tell the people what we think are the important ideas to fund!  Sounds simple? But we know it’s not. Let’s hope we can win this one!

School Funding:
 Really part of the budget, but worthy of special mention. This Governor, again, took a good idea for a school funding formula which was approved by the courts, and turned it into another major issue for the legislature and those we represent. How do we keep the now “again called Abbots”, whole and still provide the funds to all those suburban schools which were also deemed problematic in “adequacy” formulas?  Another chapter in the Christie (read Republican) playbook.

The Medicaid Waiver: This is the cruelest planned cut of the many out there. The Governor is looking for a $300 million savings by removing medicaid insurance coverage from any family earning more than $103 per week; freezing Family Care insurance and sending many thousands more New Jerseyans into the ranks of the uninsured and lacking in access to decent health care. We will continue to fight against this. Note to the feds: turn it down!

Think we have our work cut out for us in the next few weeks? We’ll get to it and somehow come to the best conclusion possible.  Yes, “I belong to no organized political party – I’m a Democrat!” (Thank you Will Rogers.)

Keep your voices heard!

Comments (10)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    how can you defend the leadership, particularly in your chamber?  They, and the bosses that prop them up, are working hand and glove with the administration to destroy collective bargaining rights and to stick it to public employees.

    And by separating “protecting” state employees from “protecting” taxpayers, you are buying into the right-wing rhetoric and divide and conquer strategy.  And public employees are taxpayers too.

  2. speedkillsu

    you can’t have a persons rights taken away to give someone else a right Rights of unions must not and cannot be allowed to interfere on the rights of others to NOT belong to a union and to NOT pay union dues if they do not want to.The “right-to-work” is an unalienable right. Unfortunately,our unions don’t believe this .

  3. SmartyJones

    Like most of you, I get e-mail messages for money and to sign petitions.  Last one was for a waiver for Vermont health care for all.

    I have never received a petition to ask that Sec. Sebelius deny Christie’s request for a waiver for the Kill Medicaid as We Know It legislation being proposed.

    Sebelius is a smart lady.  But I don’t know what political pressures are on her.  Perhaps a petition by NJ folks might persuade her.

    So, waddya think, DFA, MoveOn, FDL?  Clearly, I could be wrong and, if so, tell me why.

  4. Senator Loretta Weinberg (Post author)

    I did not mean to imply a “separation”. The use of the word “and” (and not “or”) should have suggested that. However, you are right, public employees are taxpayers. I apologize if I seemed to have suggested anything different!  However, I didn’t “defend” the leadership. I merely stated a fact. “Negotiations” have been going on “behind the scenes”, and I don’t know how it will all work out. The fact is the leadership in both houses have been engaged in these “negotiations”. Again, not a defense, merely a statement of what is actually happening. None of us might like the outcome, or some might agree with the outcome, but the facts are as I presented them.

  5. Nick Lento

    I just heard Thom Hartmann sum up in 30 seconds that Christie was a lobbyist for Edison…..and now he gives Edison 800 Million dollars to privatize NJ schools…and appoints an Edison executive to run education.   Why is this not a scandal?

    Christie’s ultimate agenda is clearly to totally gut the public school system.  

    I wish y’all would pass a bill tha allows for a recall…and then force Christie to veto it…………and then hold all who sustained the veto accountable at the next election.

    The survival of our state as a decent place to live is at stake.


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