Wowkanech applauds Sweeney’s budget announcement; Prieto cautious

This afternoon, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) announced that the Senate Democratic Majority will introduce a state budget that includes full funding for public employee pensions in accordance with actuarial recommendations.

Sweeney wants to raise $1.57 billion with a millionaires’ tax.

Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“Today, Senate President Sweeney announced a responsible approach to funding pensions. We applaud him for taking the necessary steps to uphold the state’s legally required pension payment unlike Governor Christie who is reneging on his own agreement. Senator Sweeney’s plan keeps the promise he made and supports the retirement security of middle class workers and our state’s dedicated public workforce.

“The Senate President’s plan makes sense – suspend a portion of the $4 billion in corporate welfare Governor Christie has doled out, and instead make it a priority to fund the pension, keep the state’s promises, and follow the law,” Wowkanech added. “Governor Christie’s economic record is horrendous. He has presided over the second worst job creation numbers in the nation.  New Jersey ranks only behind New Mexico.  The only winners in Chris Christie’s economy are millionaires and Wall Street CEO’s. The Senate President is presenting a plan that puts the middle class first, and forces the wealthy that have benefited so much under this Governor to pay their fair share.”

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) cautiously absorbed the news out of the senate Democrats’ press conference.

“The budget is a work in progress,” Prieto said. “Everything is on the table, as always. We will review the Senate plan.”

Wowkanech applauds Sweeney’s budget announcement; Prieto cautious