From Senator Norcross

In keeping with the commitment I made to you in the November election, I am looking at every possible way to cut wasteful government spending and relieve your tax burden. In my first voting session in Trenton two weeks ago, I supported three bills that would reform the pension and benefits system for public employees to make it more beneficial for taxpayers.

Yesterday, I introduced legislation that would require all public employees in New Jersey to live in our state. That includes anyone working for state, county and municipal governments, as well as for other public agencies. The reason is simple: Anyone who collects a paycheck, along with health, pension and other benefits that are paid for by the taxpayers, should also be a taxpayer in the state. This fair and commonsense measure would bring in new revenues that will be used to help get New Jersey’s taxes under control.

Read recent articles from the Courier-Post and the Star Ledger for more information.

Given the distressed housing market, I want to make sure that we proceed in a way that gets this done without placing an undue hardship on those employees now living in another state.

The vast majority of our public workers already live in our state and pay their taxes here. That is only right. You and your neighbors – the taxpayers – pay their salaries. If those living out of state choose to continue collecting their salaries from New Jersey taxpayers, they should also move into the state and pay their taxes here.

This move is long overdue, but it is especially appropriate in today’s tough economic climate. The state faces an unprecedented deficit and is planning widespread cost reductions that will eliminate or significantly curtail government programs and services. We all recognize that government must be made to live within its means – just like you and your families do every day. And government must identify every potential new revenue source that will help relieve your tax burden without unduly hurting others.

I believe this New Jersey residency requirement for public employees is an important step in that direction.

From Senator Norcross