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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NJ Governor Chris Christie Vetoes Supplemental Benefit Bill

SENATE BILL NO. 929

(First Reprint)

To the Senate:

Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New

Jersey Constitution, I am returning Senate Bill No. 929 (First

Reprint) without my approval.




Workers’ compensation is an important program in New

Jersey, providing compensation to employees who suffer job related

injuries or illnesses through no fault of their own. It

is especially significant to families who receive benefits after

a loved one has died in the line of duty.




In 1979, the State made comprehensive changes to the

workers’ compensation law, resulting in higher payments for

workers totally and permanently disabled after December 31,

1979. The changes, however, created a disproportionate effect

on workers’ compensation payments made to those who sustained

total and permanent disability or death before the

implementation of those changes. In recognition of this

disparity, the Legislature established a cost-of-living

adjustment (“COLA”) for those injured on or before December 31,

1979 to align their payments with those injured after the new

reforms.




This well-intended bill would extend the workers’

compensation COLA benefit to total disability beneficiaries and

those receiving survivors’ benefits where the injury occurred

after December 31, 1979. The estimated yearly cost for the COLA

is at least $58 million and would be funded solely through an

increase in the annual surcharge on private-sector employers

paid into the Second Injury Fund (“SIF”).




Employers in New Jersey already pay the third highest

workers’ compensation rates in the Nation. This bill would

further raise those rates, putting even more of a burden on

private sector businesses. I have worked tirelessly with my

Administration to maintain a business environment that fosters

the growth of private-sector jobs in the State, and we have been

successful. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction

because an increase in the annual SIF surcharge would threaten

the State’s ability to keep existing employers in the State and

undermine efforts to attract new ones. I cannot sign a bill that

will pile yet another unacceptable financial burden on the

businesses of this State.




Accordingly, I am returning Senate Bill No. 929 (First

Reprint) without my approval.

Respectfully,

[seal] /s/ Chris Christie

Governor

Attest:

/s/ Thomas P. Scrivo

Chief Counsel to the Governor




................

S929 Aca (1R) Concerns certain workers' compensation supplemental benefits.

Received by the Senate




Identical Bill Number: A1908 (2R)

Last Session Bill Number: A4514 S613 (1R)




Sweeney, Stephen M. as Primary Sponsor

Madden, Fred H., Jr. as Primary Sponsor

Burzichelli, John J. as Primary Sponsor

Riley, Celeste M. as Primary Sponsor

Moriarty, Paul D. as Primary Sponsor




1/16/2014 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Labor Committee

3/17/2014 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading

3/17/2014 Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

6/5/2014 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading

6/12/2014 Passed by the Senate (21-15)

6/12/2014 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee

10/27/2014 Reported and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee

3/16/2015 Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading

6/25/2015 Substituted for A1908 (2R)

6/25/2015 Passed by the Assembly (43-31-2)

6/25/2015 Received in the Senate, 2nd Reading on Concurrence

9/24/2015 Passed Senate (Passed Both Houses) (24-12)

11/9/2015 Absolute Veto, Received in the Senate




Introduced - 5 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Statement - SLA 3/17/14 - 3 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Fiscal Estimate - 3/26/14; as introduced - 8 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Statement - SBA 6/5/14 - 4 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Statement - ALA 10/27/14 - 4 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Statement - AAP 3/16/2015 - 3 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Fiscal Estimate - 4/8/15; 1R - 8 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Reprint - 3 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Veto - Absolute veto - 2 pages PDF Format HTML Format

Committee Voting:

SLA 3/17/2014 - r/favorably - Yes {3} No {1} Not Voting {0} Abstains {1} - Roll Call

SBA 6/5/2014 - r/favorably - Yes {8} No {2} Not Voting {2} Abstains {1} - Roll Call

ALA 10/27/2014 - r/favorably - Yes {6} No {2} Not Voting {0} Abstains {1} - Roll Call

AAP 3/16/2015 - r/Aca - Yes {6} No {1} Not Voting {1} Abstains {1} - Roll Call




Session Voting:

Sen. 6/12/2014 - 3RDG FINAL PASSAGE - Yes {21} No {15} Not Voting {4} - Roll Call

Asm. 6/25/2015 - SUBSTITUTE FOR A1908 Aca - Yes {0} No {0} Not Voting {80} Abstains {0} - Voice Vote Passed

Asm. 6/25/2015 - 3RDG FINAL PASSAGE - Yes {43} No {31} Not Voting {4} Abstains {2} - Roll Call

Sen. 9/24/2015 - CONCUR ASMB AMEND - Yes {24} No {12} Not Voting {4} - Roll Call






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