Bar part-time officials from full-time perks, incoming N.J. lawmaker says

December 19, 2023

Over the past decade, at least a dozen municipalities have provided potentially questionable coverage to their elected officials through SHBP, documents obtained through public records requests showed. That encompassed 32 current and former officials whose benefits cost taxpayers at least $2.3 million since 2014, including $332,000 in 2023 alone.

The state’s current rules have drawn criticism from some municipal advocates, who say they create confusion in SHBP towns over whether their officials meet the 35-hour threshold to be eligible for benefits.

That’s because the Treasury Department has never offered clear guidance on how elected officials’ hours should be calculated and documented, despite the undefined nature of their roles, said Marc Pfeiffer, a former deputy director of the state Division of Local Government Services.
 
“That doesn’t excuse individuals who have consciously abused the system,” said Pfeiffer, now a professor at Rutgers University. “But there are probably any number of cases where elected officials can spend 30, 35 hours a week in their job as an unpaid or low-paid elected official.”
 

Pfeiffer said the state needs to clarify how the rules should be applied. He said that could be done administratively or by lawmakers through new legislation.

“The lack of guidance from the Legislature leaves uncertainties and loopholes and opportunities for different interpretations,” Pfeiffer said.

NJ.com, December 19, 2023

Recent Posts

Sophia Jones, Committed to Cultural Competence

Sophia Jones, PhD, has been a Public Health part-time lecturer at the Bloustein School since 2016. She was recently featured on "Meet the People of Rutgers." Sophia Jones, Committed to Cultural Competence Jeff Arban/Rutgers University The Basics Title: Program...

NJSPL – New Jersey Employment Concerns Revisited

As 2024 began with yet another surprisingly strong jobs report for the U.S. (353,000 jobs added in January and the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%), and with a full year’s worth of 2023 state-level employment data now available, it’s worth briefly revisiting some of...

Upcoming Events

Lunch and Learn: Health and Housing Equity Cluster

Bloustein School, Civic Square Building 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

The Rutgers Housing & Health Equity Cluster would like to invite you to join us for an in-person lunch and learn. All are welcome to bring lunch and eat during […]