Legislation that would require all future public employees to live in New Jersey has been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
“With this law we are simply saying that as matter of policy, when it comes to providing public employment opportunities in New Jersey, we are looking to put our own residents first,” said sponsor Sen. Donald Norcross in a release. “This will help to support our workforce, while at the same time keeping our tax dollars in the state. This is not only sound public policy, but it makes good economic sense.”
The New Jersey First Act requires all newly hired public employees to live in New Jersey or to move to the state within one year of taking a position. This means employees must establish their principal residence in the state. Current employees living over state lines would be exempt from the residency requirement.
The law (S-1730) covers all state, county and municipal employees as well as anyone working for political subdivisions of the state. Employees of public authorities, boards, agencies and commissions are also subject to the law. Additionally, the law applies to employees working within the educational system. However, it provides some flexibility to institutions of higher education to ensure they are able to compete with similarly situated colleges and universities in other states. It also does not apply to individuals whose position requires them to spend the majority of their working hours out of state.