Sweeney seeks N.J. voter help to fund pensions

December 12, 2015

If voters were to approve the amendment and the state contributed its share to the pension system, he said, “you would quickly be faced with the question of, ‘Well, how do I plug the rest of the budget we’ve now consumed?’ ”

That question is particularly relevant in New Jersey, which faces a structural budget deficit and is vulnerable to end-of-year shortfalls because of its heavy reliance on income-tax collections.

“It is a difficult issue, for sure, with long-standing contractually committed obligations vs. the need for budget flexibility and discretion, particularly when faced with deep fiscal constraints and a reluctance to impose new significant taxes,” Joseph J. Seneca, professor emeritus at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, said in an email.

Philly.com, December 12

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