TRENTON –The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission voted unanimously today to not recommend enactment of several bills.
S1910: a bill sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden, (D-4), of Tavestock, that would require health insurance coverage for certain student athlete physical examinations.
Pensions Division Assistant Director David Pointer called the bill “redundant,” saying that it “calls for something that is already being done.”
Commission member Mark Krane agreed.
“It’s already an offered benefit,” he said. “Why legislate something that is already provided?”
S1861: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1), of Dennis, would provide benefits to veterans of “Global War on Terror” conflicts and of military missions served during certain periods of time.
Commission member William Clarke was critical of the bill, saying it was “very open ended.” Other members agreed with him.
A2336: A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, (D-37), of Englewood, would give participants in the Public Employees Retirement System another option if they leave with 10 years of service accumulated.
The bill would allow such workers who leave for reasons other than retirement to receive the deductions and interest, as well as a portion of the employer’s contributions to the system.
It would equal 2.5 percent of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based for the member’s years of creditable service.
Commission members voted to not recommend enactment of the bill largely because of the high cost.
Henry Matwiejewicz, a legislative coordinator for the pensions commission, said the bill would increase the pension fund liability by $166 million. State and local governments collectively would have to pay an additional $30 million a year, he said.
Members also said the legislation appeared to benefit certain members of the system at the expense of others.