Toolkit guide, part 2: Democrats’ response

Nothing in the tool kit gets through the legislature without Democratic approval. So the Democrats crafted much of their own legislation mirroring, or at times challenging, the blueprint of Christie’s tool kit.

The most notable Democratic move was for arbitration reform, which did not include a 2 percent cap on arbitration awards and was argued by Republicans and the League of Municipalities to be detrimental to municipalities bound to a 2 percent levy cap.

The bill is likely to be vetoed, if passed, in a legislative chess match with Gov. Chris Christie.

The proposed law does change the policy for choosing an arbitrator and appeals. 

Arbitrators would also be required to consider the financial impact of their award on the governing body, including the effect on the 2 percent levy cap, but the award would not be required to be below that cap.

“The two percent cap is a lazy way to govern,” state Sen. Louis Greenwald (D-Vorhees) said in October. “It takes the creativity away (from contract negotiations) and will lead to layoffs.”

The Democrats’ bill also includes a “fair and final” determination of an arbitrator to choose between the two competing proposals.

Below is a list and continuing update on the 33 point tool kit plan and accompanying legislation.

 

 

Municipal and County Tool Kit

 

1. Constitutional amendment to impose a 2.5% cap on increases in the property tax levy increases for municipal, school and county taxes, cap banking is allowed.

 

Senate bills

 

SCR104 (Kyrillos)

Proposes constitutional amendment to impose strict 2.5 percent cap on tax levy increases by local units of government.

–5/20/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
–6/21/2010 Motion To Suspend Rule 24:2 (Kyrillos)
–6/21/2010 Motion To Table (21-16) (Gill)

 

S29 (Sweeney/etc) – PASSED

Reduces school district, county, and municipal property tax levy cap from 4% to 2.0% and permits unused school district, county, and municipal increases to be banked for three succeeding years.

–6/21/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–6/24/2010 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
–6/28/2010 Motion To Sa (Kyrillos)
–6/28/2010 Motion To Table (22-18) (Buono)
–6/28/2010 Passed by the Senate (23-17)
–6/28/2010 Received in the Assembly without Reference, 2nd Reading
–6/28/2010 Substituted for A3065
–6/28/2010 Motion To Aa (DiCicco)
–6/28/2010 Motion To Table (Cryan) (42-35-0)
–6/28/2010 Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (44-33-1)
–7/8/2010 Conditional Veto, Received, 2nd Reading on Concur with Gov. (36-3)
–7/8/2010 Emergency Resolution (36-3) (Van Drew)
–7/8/2010 Passed by the Senate (36-3)
–7/12/2010 Received in the Assembly on Concurrence with Gov. Recommend.
–7/12/2010 Emergency Resolution (McKeon) (Voice)
–7/12/2010 Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (73-4-0)
–7/13/2010 Approved P.L.2010, c.44.

 

Assembly bills

 

ACR131 (O’Scanlon/DiCicco)

Proposes constitutional amendment to impose strict 2.5 percent cap on tax levy increases by local units of government.

–5/20/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee
–6/21/2010 Motion Rel AHO (O’Scanlon) Out of Order
–6/21/2010 Motion To Appeal Chair (Webber) Lost
–6/21/2010 Motion Committee of the Whole (DiCicco)
–6/21/2010 Motion To Table (44-36-0) (Cryan)

 

A3065 (McKeon/etc)

Reduces school district, county, and municipal property tax levy cap from 4% to 2.9% percent and permits unused school district, county and municipal increases to be banked for three succeeding years.

–6/24/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
–6/24/2010 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
–6/28/2010 Substituted by S29

 

2. Constitutional amendment to place a 2.5% cap on spending for State government operations (excluding state aid to municipalities and school districts and direct property tax relief); cap banking is allowed.

 

Senate bill

 

SCR103 (Oroho/Allen)

Proposes constitutional amendment to establish a 2.5 percent cap on annual appropriations increases for certain State government spending.

— 5/20/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

ACR130 (O’Scanlon/DiCicco)

Proposes constitutional amendment to establish a 2.5 percent cap on annual appropriations increases for certain State government spending.

–5/20/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
–6/21/2010 Motion Rel ABU (O’Scanlon) Out of Order
–6/21/2010 Motion To Appeal Chair (Webber) Lost
–6/21/2010 Motion Committee of the Whole (DiCicco)
–6/21/2010 Motion To Table (44-36-0) (Cryan)

 

3. Reform in selection of arbitrators for union contracts.

 

Senate bill

 

S2171 (Doherty)

Implements Governor’s “Tool Kit” proposals for public employer – public employee collective bargaining.

–7/1/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–9/20/2010 Withdrawn from Consideration

 

Assembly bill

 

A3075 (Chiusano)

Implements Governor’s “Tool Kit” proposals for public employer – public employee collective bargaining.

–6/28/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee
–9/20/2010 Withdrawn from Consideration

 

4. Arbitrators are mandated to consider impact of union contracts on property taxes, no such requirement in current law.

 

5. Arbitrators are barred from making contract awards that exceed 2.5% cap, inclusive of all salary, benefit and other economic contract provisions.

 

Assembly bill

 

A3393 (Greenwald/etc)

Establishes “last offer” as terminal procedure for police and fire contract arbitration.

–10/14/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading

 

6. Pension benefit reform – eliminate eligibility for State retirement systems for non- government groups and associations.

 

Senate bills

 

S2100 (Sweeney/Ruiz)

Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

–6/24/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–7/19/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–8/23/2010 Reported from Senate Committee as a Substitute, 2nd Reading
–9/30/2010 Passed by the Senate (37-0)
–10/1/2010 Reviewed by the Pension and Health Benefits Commission Recommend to enact
–10/7/2010 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee

 

7. Pension benefit reform – cap sick leave and carry forward of vacation for current employees.

 

Senate bill

 

S2220 (Sarlo/etc)

Limits certain unused sick leave pay and vacation leave carry-forward for school and local employees; limits sick leave use by new public employees before retirement.

–8/23/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–9/13/2010 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
–9/30/2010 Motion To Sa (Kyrillos)
–9/30/2010 Motion To Table (20-15) (Buono)
–9/30/2010 Motion To Sa (Kyrillos)
–9/30/2010 Motion To Table (18-17) (Buono)
–9/30/2010 Passed by the Senate (34-0)
–10/7/2010 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee
–10/14/2010 Transferred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
–10/25/2010 Substituted for A3392/3211 (ACS)
–10/25/2010 Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (78-0-0)

 

Assembly bill

 

A3392 (Lampitt/etc)

Limits certain unused sick leave pay and vacation leave carry-forward for school and local employees; limits sick leave use by new public employees before retirement.

–10/14/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported from Assembly Comm. as a Substitute, 2nd Reading
–10/25/2010 Substituted by S2220 (1R)

 

8. / 9. Shared services reform – when local units decide to share services current law requires buyout of union contracts, bumping and other civil service protections that destroy the efficiencies of the merger; this proposal eliminates certain civil services protections when services are shared. (Two bills required to amend different statutes).

 

Senate bill

 

S2024 (Kyrillos)

Permits layoff plans as substitute for employment reconciliation plans for joint meetings or shared service agreements under certain circumstances.

–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
–8/23/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A3212 (Casagrande)

Permits layoff plans as substitute for employment reconciliation plans for joint meetings or shared service agreements under certain circumstances.

–9/16/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee
–9/30/2010 Withdrawn from Consideration

 

10. Allow furloughs by local government to save costs.

 

Senate bill

 

S2206 (Sweeney)

Provides that State or local appointing authority in civil service may institute temporary layoff.

–7/19/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

 

11. Allow counties and municipalities to opt out of civil service municipalities by ordinance or referendum initiated by 15% of the voters.

 

Senate bill

 

S1902 (Beach)

Permits counties and municipalities to withdraw from civil service system and maintain veterans preference.

–5/13/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
–6/28/2010 Withdrawn from Consideration

 

Assembly bill

 

A2580 (Moriarty/Burzichelli)

Permits counties and municipalities to withdraw from civil service system by ordinance.

–3/22/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee

 

12. / 13. / 14. Employee discipline reform (public/police/fire) – reclassify many offenses as minor to avoid lengthy and costly hearings for relatively trivial infractions.

 

15. Employee discipline reform – revise appeal process of employee disciplinary hearings to reclassify many offenses as minor.

 

Senate bill

 

S2135 (Cardinale)

Limits right of appeal of disciplinary action taken by employer against certain public employees.

–6/24/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–8/23/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2955 (Bucco/Chiusano)

Limits right of appeal of disciplinary action taken by employer against certain public employees.

–6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee 

 

16. Revise layoff rules to allow less senior, but more essential employees to avoid bumping.

 

Senate bill

 

S2011 (Oroho)

Eliminates seniority in Civil Service and other jurisdictions for reductions in force in certain circumstances.

–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2956 (Chiusano/McHose)

Eliminates seniority in Civil Service and other jurisdictions for reductions in force in certain circumstances.

–6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee

 

17. Give Civil Service Commissioner more day-to-day control as when the Department of Personnel was a freestanding department.

 

Senate bill

 

S2154 (Oroho)

Replaces references to Civil Service Commission with chairperson of commission to clarify duties and responsibilities of chairperson.

–6/28/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–7/19/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2957 (Chiusano)

Replaces references to Civil Service Commission with chairperson of commission to clarify duties and responsibilities of chairperson.

–6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee

 

18. Increase testing and appeal fees for civil service promotional exams.

 

Senate bill

 

S2140 (Singer)

Increases certain application fees for civil service examinations and requires review of fees every five years; establishes fee for certain appeals. 

6/21/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
6/24/2010 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
6/28/2010 Substituted by A3010

 

Assembly bill

 

A3010 (Malone) – PASSED

Increases certain application fees for civil service examinations and requires review of fees every five years; establishes fee for certain appeals.

6/24/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee
6/24/2010 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
6/28/2010 Passed by the Assembly (41-37-0)
6/28/2010 Received in the Senate without Reference, 2nd Reading
6/28/2010 Substituted for S2140 (1R)
6/28/2010 Passed Senate (Passed Both Houses) (21-19)
6/29/2010 Approved P.L.2010, c.26.

 

19. Allow Civil Service Commissioner to make seasonal appointment for 9 months.

 

20. Allow municipalities to offset property tax refunds against State income tax refunds.

 

Senate bill

 

S2012 (Doherty/Allen)

Allows gross income tax refunds to be credited against a taxpayer’s delinquent local property taxes and adjusts administration of setoffs against gross income tax refunds and homestead rebates or credits.

–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
–7/19/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–7/19/2010 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
–10/18/2010 Senate Amendment (35-0) (Doherty)

Assembly bill

 

A2958 (Bucco/McHose)

Allows gross income tax refunds to be credited against a taxpayer’s delinquent local property taxes. 
–6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee

 

21. Expand parties that may bring challenges to Council on Local Mandates to include groups, like the League of Municipalities.

 

Senate bill

 

S2208 (Sarlo/Allen/etc)

Allows certain organizations to file complaints with Council on Local Mandates in certain circumstances. 
–7/19/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–7/19/2010 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
–8/23/2010 Passed by the Senate (36-0)
–9/13/2010 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee
–9/20/2010 Transferred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
–9/30/2010 Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
–9/30/2010 Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Scalera)
–9/30/2010 Substituted for A3204 (2R)
–9/30/2010 Emergency Resolution (75-0-0) (Scalera)
–9/30/2010 Passed by the Assembly (75-0-0)
–9/30/2010 Received in the Senate, 2nd Reading on Concurrence

 

Assembly bill

 

A3204 (Scalera/etc)

Allows certain organizations to file complaints with Council on Local Mandates in certain circumstances.

–9/16/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee
–9/20/2010 Transferred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
–9/30/2010 Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
–9/30/2010 Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Scalera)
–9/30/2010 Substituted by S2208 (2R)

 

 

Educational Tool Kit

 

22. No school contract award in excess of 2.5% cap, inclusive of all salary, benefit and other economic contract provisions.

 

23. School districts could once again impose a “last best offer” contract under certain circumstances.

 

24. Executive county superintendents approval of all union and superintendent contracts.  No approval of contracts with: a. Salary/benefit increases exceeding the 2.5% cap; b. Pupil contact time per day as set by regulation; c. Minimum number of work as set by regulation; d. Prohibition on contracting out auxiliary/ancillary services.

 

25. Executive county superintendents would be required to implement sharing of school business functions across districts and with municipalities.

 

Senate bill

 

S2025 (Kyrillos)

Authorizes executive county superintendent of schools to require implementation of shared services arrangements and to approve school district collective negotiations agreements prior to execution of agreement.

–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2961 (Handlin/Casagrande)

Authorizes executive county superintendent of schools to require implementation of shared services arrangements and to approve school district collective negotiations agreements prior to execution of agreement.

— 6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Education Committee

 

26. Pension reforms similar to those affecting municipalities.

 

 

Higher Education Tool Kit

 

27. Revise fact finder decision standards (when awarding a new employee contract) to account for decrease in state aid level, effect on tuition, and benefits already provided to employees.

 

Senate bill

 

S2027 (T.Kean)

Concerns collective negotiations for public institutions of higher education.
–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2962 (Munoz)

Concerns collective negotiations for public institutions of higher education.

— 6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee

 

28. Designate State colleges and universities as employer of record for collective bargaining.

 

Senate bill

 

S2026 (T.Kean)

Amends State college law to remove certain employees from civil service system and allow boards of trustees to conduct collective bargaining. 

–6/3/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2963 (Webber/Munoz)

Amends State college law to remove certain employees from civil service system and allow boards of trustees to conduct collective bargaining.

— 6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Education Committee

 

29. Allow state colleges and universities to hire faculty members for a probationary period.

Senate bill

 

S2172 (Bateman)

Authorizes the establishment of probationary periods for nontenured faculty members at State colleges. 
–7/1/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee

 

30. Remove classified employers from Civil Service status and include them within each institution’s personnel system.

 

31. Allow separate workers compensation program management for college and universities.

 

Senate bills

 

S2067 (T.Kean)

Authorizes formation of State college risk management groups and joint liability funds.

–6/21/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee
–8/23/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–8/23/2010 Combined with S1998 (SCS)

 

S1998 (Ruiz/T.Kean/etc)

Authorizes formation of State college risk management groups and joint liability funds.

–5/27/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee
–8/23/2010 Transferred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
–8/23/2010 Reported from Senate Committee as a Substitute, 2nd Reading
–9/30/2010 Passed by the Senate (35-0)
–10/7/2010 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee
–10/14/2010 Transferred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
–10/25/2010 Substituted for A3358/2965 (ACS)
–10/25/2010 Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (77-0-1)

 

Assembly bills

 

A2965 (DiMaio)

Authorizes formation of State college risk management groups and joint liability funds.

–6/17/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee
–10/14/2010 Transferred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Combined with A3358 (ACS)

 

A3358 (Lampitt/DiMaio)

Authorizes formation of State college risk management groups and joint liability funds.

–10/7/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee
–10/14/2010 Transferred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported from Assembly Comm. as a Substitute, 2nd Reading
–10/25/2010 Substituted by S1998/2067 (SCS)

 

 

Election Reform

 

32. Require only single ballot to each household instead of multiple ballots to all voters residing in household.

 

Senate bills

 

S1781 (Beach/Norcross)

Directs that one sample ballot shall be delivered to each residence address where at least one resident thereof is registered to vote.

–3/15/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–7/19/2010 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
–10/18/2010 Senate Amendment (33-0) (Beach)

 

S1874 (Beach/Norcross)

Provides primary and school election sample ballots may be sent to registered voter by electronic mail if so requested.

–5/10/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
–7/19/2010 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
–10/18/2010 Senate Amendment (34-0) (Beach)

 

Assembly bills

 

A1646 (Greenwald/Wagner)

Directs that one sample ballot shall be delivered to each residence address where at least one resident thereof is registered to vote. 

–1/12/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee
–10/14/2010 Transferred to Assembly Budget Committee
–10/18/2010 Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading

 

A2675 (Quijano/Wagner)

Provides general election, primary, and school election sample ballots may be sent to registered voter by electronic mail if so requested.

–5/13/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly State Government Committee

 

33. Move school and fire elections to November.

 

Senate bill

 

S1312 (Turner)

Provides for the election of school board members at November general election and eliminates vote on school budgets except for separate proposals to spend above cap which will also occur at general election.

–2/8/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee

 

Assembly bill

 

A2143 (DeAngelo/etc)

Provides for the election of school board members at November general election and eliminates vote on school budgets except for separate proposals to spend above cap which will also occur at general election.

–2/11/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Education Committee