Government Relations Report
by Chuck Griffiths and Sandra Zaccaria
CCREA’s government relations team braved winter’s lingering chill to make February a very active month. Our team attended NJREA’s GR meeting in Trenton on February 16th to discuss several critical issues -the most important being the proposed constitutional amendment on pensions. Key provisions of the amendment would require quarterly payments, establish a responsible funding schedule, and protect the right of vested public employees to earn their pension benefits. The NJEA did extensive research on public support and found the results to be favorable. We also learned that our lawsuit to restore our COLA will be heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court in March. We again travelled north on Saturday, February 20th to attend the NJEA’s annual Legislative and Political Conference in Somerset. With over 500 people in attendance, the conference dealt with privatization, charter schools, federal issues, assessment and health benefits. The conference concluded with a plenary session moderated by NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. Panelists Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto spoke at length, offering their full support for the constitutional amendment on pensions.