Legislation to prohibit some lobbyists from enrolling in taxpayer-paid pension systems and the state health benefits program was introduced by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Twp.).
“Our system has for too long been burdening our property taxpayers, and, to put it simply, paying pensions and health benefits for lobbyists is unacceptable,” said Moriarty. “It’s inconceivable that lobbyists are benefiting from these systems at taxpayer expense. A mistake was made a long time ago to allow. It’s time to end it.”
The bill, A-2115, would eliminate eligibility for newly hired officers and employees of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Association of Counties, the New Jersey School Boards Association, any school board insurance group, any county college joint insurance group, any county or municipal joint insurance fund and any corporation designated to manage a special improvement district established by municipal ordinance. It would also prohibit any officer or employee of an educational foundation created by or on behalf of a higher education institution in this state for the purpose of receiving donations from becoming a member of the pension system on the basis of that employment.
“Taxpayers have had it and so have I,” said Moriarty. “Apparently there was a time in which legislators were more than willing to give lobbyists taxpayer-paid pensions, but that party is over. This bill wouldn’t be a cure-all to our budget and tax woes, but it would be a step in the right direction toward controlling property taxes and government waste.”