TRENTON – Dubbed the “Joe D” bills, state Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24), of Franklin Township, sponsored two bills that were supposed to fix a pension loophole that was recently brought to light when PolitickerNJ reported that Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo was collecting a pension, at least partially, for service in the post he currently holds. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37), of Teaneck, also admitted to cashing in on retirement for a job she still held.
Unanimously passed by the Senate Budget committee this week, the bills would stop a “loophole” that allows a state worker to retire from their job, collect their pension, and continue in the same position.
State Sen. President Steve Sweeney (D-3), of West Deptford, said he’s folding the reforms into his overarching pension and benefit bill, which still does not have the support of the Assembly.
Oroho confirmed before the beginning of the Senate session that the bill was being pulled after having a discussion with Sweeney.
“My goal is to just make sure it gets to the finish line,” he told State Street Wire. “As long as those two loopholes get closed, I don’t care how it gets done. I know the Senate president is committed to this issue and he gave me his assurance.”
The first Oroho bill, S1875, which was pulled from the Senate agenda today, according to Democratic Office staff, would repeal a law allowing Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) members to retire with a PERS pension and continue to receive salary for current PERS-covered elective office.
Similarly, the second bill, S346, which was not on the agenda today, would repeal a law allowing Police & Fire Retirement System (PFRS) members to retire with a PFRS pension and continue to receive salary for current PFRS-covered elective office.
Additional reporting by Minhaj Hassan.