Sweeney pension reform is realistic and good

Since I started state employment 20 years ago, I have heard about the problems of the pension fund for state workers.

Only one person is realistic enough to see that this fund will never become solvent without serious reform. That is why as a 20 year state worker, as a lifelong union member, I fully support state Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s pension reform plan.

Under his plan every current vested state employee would retain their pension. No promises would be broken. Future state employees would know exactly what their benefits would be so that they can make an informed decision on whether to join state service. That is fair.

I am sick and tired of the naysayers who have no realistic plan of their own. What also bothers me is that most of the opponents to Sweeney’s plan (typically organization leaders) are not even state employees.

The stock market is dropping, the economy will soon slow down and the pension fund is in horrible shape. The fund’s future is bleak.

Rhetoric must stop and action must occur. The Sweeney pension plan is good for the workers who are currently in the plan. That is why I fully support the plan and urge all current government workers to educate themselves and hopefully come to the same conclusion.

Time is running out and those of us in the plan must take control and reform the pension plan now.

Michael J. Makara

Mays Landing

Journalist from Ocean deserves her honors

My congratulations to Maria Ressa, a journalist who was named one of Time magazine’s persons of the year. Ressa has had an illustrious career, reporting for CNN and writing books about global terrorism.

More recently, she founded the Philippines independent news site Rappler, and has been fearlessly reporting on the violent regime of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ressa attended Toms River public schools, and I and many of her fellow students have been following her career for some time. She also recently received the 2018 Knight International Journalism Award and the Committee To Protect Journalists’ Press Freedom Award.

Ressa’s work on behalf of press freedom is extraordinary and should be honored and celebrated.

Christine Rodas

West Creek

Dems should end coal, avert apocalypse with solar

Democrats should propose legislation to close every coal mine, and promise to pay every laid off worker two years of comparable salary while attending school to learn a new trade, preferably in the field of green energy.

Plants to build solar panels and accessories for new and old construction should be located in former coal states. The demand for such items will soar once Democrats make all of this mandatory.

If we don’t take our heads out of the sand soon, nature will threaten life as we know it with rising sea levels, severe storms, droughts, famines, pandemics causing unimaginable violence and chaos everywhere.

Democrats must not obsess on castigating President Donald Trump if they wish to win the presidency in 2020. They must focus on climate change, the one existential threat of to mankind.

Lawrence Uniglicht

Galloway Township

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