TRENTON – After roughly six hours caucusing, the Assembly Democrats exited the basement conference room and quickly moved into high gear by handling the landmark pension and benefits reform as one of their first orders of business.
First to speak against the bill was Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell. “We must never forget that collective bargaining is how we built the middle class in America,” he said. “Will this legislation improve health care for our families? Will it make it more affordable?…No. It certainly will not lower anyone’s property taxes.”
When he asked for the bill to be moved back to second-reading for amendment, a loud cheer erupted in the chamber’s balcony viewing area where union representatives started shouting, “Kill the bill, kill the bill.”
Assemblyman John Burzichelli moved to table O’Donnell’s motion – to boos – and passage, 44-33.