By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Citing a “lack of improvement in the state’s weak financial position,” Save Jerseyans, Moody’s Investors Service has once again downgraded our state’s bond rating, this time from A1 to A2.
Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) doesn’t think the causation is a mystery.
“Moody’s couldn’t have made this any clearer. The Legislature’s failure to further provide pension reform is responsible for the state’s structural imbalance,” the legislator said on Friday. “We need to enact further reforms to the pension system as soon as possible. Trenton Democrats, who are in the majority, would rather play politics than partner across the aisle and with the administration to work on the reforms needed to make our state affordable and fix the system for current and future public employees.”
He’s not wrong. Democrats like Gary Schaer continue to boast that they supported full pension payments while refusing ANY efforts to free up the cash (and conveniently refusing to own up tot their leading role in precipitating this crisis looooong before Chris Christie came to Trenton.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s “pension road map” announced during February’s budget address has stalled as budget negotiations grind into the spring months; the NJEA, which the Christie Administration initially claimed had signed onto shifting the pension system to a trust overseen by the union, has done nothing but trash Christie ever since.
“Governor Christie’s long history of lying about pensions is all too familiar by now, but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable,” NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer barked in an angry release. “From the beginning, he’s pursued a strategy of blaming others while refusing to accept responsibility for solving a problem that has grown much worse on his watch.”
As for an alternative plan? That doesn’t involve catastrophic new tax hikes at a time when the state’s job market is already on its heels?