There’s one thing in the mammoth pension and health-benefit bill that should please public worker unions, and I haven’t seen anyone make note of it.
The bill, which could be approved by both the state Senate and Assembly next week, says that any failure by the state or any other public employer to make the annual pension contribution required by the bill in any given year will be considered a violation of each employee’s contract and subject to a lawsuit filed by any employee. This brief section of the 124-page bill expressly says the state or any other public employer must submit to the Superior Court’s jurisdiction on this matter and may not invoke sovereign immunity, which would otherwise protect a governmental body from such lawsuits.
This is a big deal. The unions repeatedly point to the state’s failure over the last two decades to make required pensions payments. So at least the unions will have this much going for them under the new law.
The bill - S2937 - was available on the Legislature's Web site a half-hour ago, but now seems to have been taken down. Check back here later to read the full bill.