Hundreds attend Lobby Day
More than 300 NJEA members, staff, and leaders lined the halls of the NJ Statehouse today, calling on Sen. Sweeney to post SCR2, the pension bill that would place a constitutional amendment to ensure quarterly pension payments on the ballot Nov. 8.
Flanked by hundreds of members, NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer spoke with Sen. Sweeney in the halls of the Statehouse. Sweeney said that his focus is on passing the Transportation Trust Fund agreement, with a veto-proof majority, before he will consider SCR2.
However, the clock is quickly running out on the pension amendment. If SCR2 does not pass the Senate by Aug. 8, it will miss the deadline for the November ballot.
Senators and legislative aides were confronted by hundreds of NJEA members wearing blue #VoteNJPension stickers and red SCR2 NOW! NJ Pensions Can’t Wait stickers. So numerous were the crowds that the NJ State Police took the unprecedented step of removing people from the halls of the annex. NJEA members simply relocated to other highly visible locations around the building.
Senate passage is the only obstacle remaining for the pension amendment before it can be voted on by the public. In June, the Assembly passed their version of the bill.
If the Senate passes SCR2 by Aug. 8, and if the amendment passes in November, the State would be required to make quarterly pension payments and would mandate full annual payments after a short ramp-up period. Additionally, it would close loopholes and finally put in place a legally enforceable pension funding plan.
NJEA was joined by other public employee union members, including CWA, who hosted a rally on the steps of the Statehouse at noon.