6/24/11

Unionist Solon Takes on BigGov Slackers

New Jersey's public sector unions are not too big to fail
Bucking the state's powerful public employee unions, the New Jersey Senate on Monday passed a bill requiring sharply higher contributions for health benefits and pensions from more than a half-million government workers, while suspending unions' ability to bargain over health care.

As a gallery full of raucous union members looked on, the upper chamber moved the legislation with support from Republicans and a few Democrats in a 24-15 vote.

"The time for political calculations is over," said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat and member of the ironworkers' union, who sponsored the bill. "The time for passing the buck to someone else is over."

It must still get through an Assembly committee, where it was also being considered Monday, and then pass the entire lower house before it reaches the governor's desk. The full Assembly is scheduled to hear the bill on Thursday.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, the driving force behind the landmark legislation, praised the Senate for its action.
(from AP)

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