The Democratic Party chair people from three counties – Union, Hudson and Passaic – tonight released statements saying their party delegations opposed pension and health benefits as currently put forward by state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and want health benefits and pension reform considered in separate bills.
“It is my strong opinion that this reform needs to be treated as two separate policy issues: health benefits reform and pension reform,” said Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie. “In my 20-plus years experience as Passaic County Democratic Chairman, I have long felt that collective bargaining is a cornerstone of our Party and protects the rights of hard working men and women. The necessary reform needs to be done in a systematic and inclusive way, with two-sides negotiating across the table from one another. I feel strongly that issue could be solved without the need for a legislative remedy.”
Charlotte DeFilippo of Union County and Mark Smith of Hudson County issued similar statements.