The full Assembly voted 73-0-0 Monday to approve legislation (A-20) designed to provide Chapter 78 relief for public education employees in New Jersey.
Bill sponsors, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) and Assembly Democrats Nancy Pinkin (D-18), Verlina Reynolds-Jackon (D-15) and Mila Jasey (D-27) issued the following joint statement:
“Public education employees are essential to New Jersey and we value their contributions. This legislation will restore fairness to Chapter 78 health benefit contributions and provide needed relief to New Jersey taxpayers.
“After months of work with Senate President Sweeney, the NJEA and the Governor’s Office—we are pleased to move this bill forward.
“By providing new, more affordable health plan options and including a guaranteed floor of savings, this bill is a win-win.”
The Senate also voted Monday, passing the measure 36-0. It now heads to the Governor’s desk.
According to the bill, the anticipated net savings associated with plan design changes offset by reductions in employee contributions are indeterminate. The savings from the restructuring of the plans offered by the SEHBP and equivalent plans required to be offered by non-SEHBP employers are indeterminate because migration is not predictable. The greatest savings are predicated on 100 percent migration to the new plans and various plan design changes. If the equivalent new plans are less expensive than the plans currently offered by non-SEHBP employers and employees migrate to those plans then non-SEHBP employers will experience greater savings. These savings will be offset by reductions in employee contributions of those members who choose to migrate to the new plans.