Eristoff confirmation hearing today; Senate panel considers pension reform bills

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The State Senate has a quorum call at noon today, with five committees scheduled to meet.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 11AM to consider the nominations of Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff as State Treasurer and Robert Czech to head the state Civil Service Commission.

The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee will meet at 9:30 AM to consider a package of four bills dealing with public employees.  State Sen. James Whelan (D-Atlantic City), the committee chairman, has requested that testimony be limited to five minutes due to the large number of persons expected to testify on these bills: S-2, which makes various pension system changes concerning eligibility, retirement allowance formula, compensation definition, position eligible for service credit, non-forfeitable rights, enrollment waiver, prosecutors part, PFRS special retirement, employer contributions; S-3, which various changes to SHBP and SEHBP concerning eligibility, cost sharing, choice of plan, application of benefit change, waiver of coverage, and multiple coverage; S-4, which makes various changes concerning payments to public employees for unused sick leave, sick leave injury in State service, and PERS and TPAF disability retirement; and SCR1, which amends State Constitution to require annual contributions by the State to State-administered retirement system.

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee will meet at 10AM to consider seven bills: S-245, which exempts certain State authorities and local government contracting units from bidding requirements when goods and services are procured below prices available under State contract; modifies process for contracting through certain cooperative purchasing agreements; S-593, which allows surviving spouses between 55 and 64 years of age to carry forward homestead property tax reimbursement of qualified deceased program participant; S-762, requiring the State Treasurer to issue cost benefit analysis and security report for conversion of military housing to civilian housing at Earle Naval Weapons Station and places moratorium on issuance of certain State permits and plan approvals; S-880, extending payment of homestead property tax reimbursement to non-eligible surviving spouse for portion of tax year during which deceased spouse lived; S-913, permitting tenant to be removed from leased housing due to criminal activity under certain circumstances; S-1108, establishing that police cruisers have a useful life of five years and allows local units to bond for such vehicles; and S-1111, which lowers age of eligibility for surviving spouse under homestead property tax reimbursement program.

The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will meet at 2:30 to consider nine bills: S-89, which requires licensed health care professionals and facilities to bill Medicare beneficiaries within six months of providing health care service; S-324, which requires DHS to establish training, educational assessment, and remedial instruction programs, and minimum educational standards for staff at State psychiatric hospitals; S-363, which establishes Task Force on Hospital Technology to recommend incentives to encourage hospitals to integrate technology to improve patient care and safety; S-377, which specifies public members on Board of Medical Examiners and requires board to take certain actions to investigate licensees; S-383, which establishes requirements for non face-to-face sales of cigarettes and tobacco products; S-443,which prohibits smoking in certain outdoor public places; S-669, which prohibits smoking at public parks and beaches; S-812, concerning dispensation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to a patient of drugs delivered to the eye through a contact lens; and S-889, prohibiting smoking at State-owned beaches.

The Senate Labor Committee will meet at 10 AM, with four bills on their agenda: S-229, which concerns repayment of workers’ compensation by pension recipients; S-676, which increases workers’ compensation for loss of a hand or foot; S-935, concerning certain workers’ compensation supplemental benefits; and S-1301, which authorizes unemployment benefits for shared work programs.

Eristoff confirmation hearing today; Senate panel considers pension reform bills