More state employees in New Jersey are retiring in response to "Cap 2.0"

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July 15, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

TRENTON, New Jersey: After Governor Chris Christie signed bills into law to reform employee pensions and benefits along with property taxes, more state employees are retiring from their positions[1].

In July of 2010, there are 2,868 state employees and 5,444 education employees who intend to retire. Compared to July of 2009, the numbers are much higher when 1,314 state employees and 2,263 education employees retired according to official statistics. As more local governments and school districts see more cuts in state aid along with the new "Cap 2.0" property tax reform become law, some experts say the situation may be worse[1].

Steve Baker, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Education Association, told Bloomberg that teachers are retiring because of resources not available due to state budget cuts. In the 2010-2011 New Jersey budget, public schools face a $820 million dollar cut in state aid. Also, 59 percent of New Jersey school districts saw their budgets denied during the annual school election in April of 2010. The verdict came after Christie urged voters to not approve their district's budget if salary increases were not frozen[1].

Rae Roeder, a spokesperson for Communication Workers of America-New Jersey, said that the increasing amount of retirements from state employees could force more service cuts. Roeder also took issue with how the Governor approached the 2010 state budget. In addition, Roeder felt that the situation could get worse if relations do not improve between the union and the Governor[1].

After changes on employee pensions and benefits take effect along with the new property tax reform, it's yet to be seen if the new laws will impact the decisions of more state employees deciding to retire early[1].

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