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EDISON – New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today released the following statement on Governor Christie’s proposal in his Budget Address to dedicate lottery funds to help fund the state’s pension obligation:

“Governor Christie’s proposal today is a good first step for our members.  We recognize that the Budget Address is a launching point for negotiation between the Governor and the Legislature, but we believe the dedication of lottery funds to help meet the State’s pension funding obligation is a start.  We look forward to the state fulfilling its long-standing obligation to fund the PFRS and providing our 33,000 members the pensions they have earned.”

The Mayor of Atlantic City, the Governor and legislative leadership today agreed on compromise legislation to provide the city the time and tools it needs to avoid a state takeover.

The new deal will give the City 5 months to develop a plan to balance their budget for 2017 while ensuring State financial assistance. The compromise avoids a state takeover provided the City offers the State with a balanced budget plan in that time.

Following our recent meetings with the Mayor, including a discussion with him this afternoon, the State PBA is comfortable that the City can develop a balanced budget under the conditions set by the new bill language.

The bill also includes an early retirement incentive option for AC employees. This, coupled with ongoing negotiations between the City and PBA 24, should be adequate to further the goals of a balanced budget moving forward at least as it relates to the PD.

The bill is expected to pass the Legislature in the next few days. The PBA will remain a partner to the Mayor moving forward and we are grateful for his passionate defense of the men and women of the AC PD. This compromise also would not have been possible without the insistence of Speaker Prieto that collective bargaining and fairness be protected during this difficult time.

Amid the ongoing Atlantic City crisis and a north-south standoff with a bill he backs apparently in the docket on Thursday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop unleashed a torrent of criticism aimed at the triumvirate of Gov. Chris Christie, state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and South Jersey Democratic Leader George Norcross III.

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WOODBRIDGE- Following comments made by New Jersey Governor and Presidential candidate Chris Christie that attacked New Jersey State PBA President Pat Colligan and also lied about his record as New Jersey’s Governor, Colligan released the following statement:

“The Chris Christie the people in New Hampshire saw today is the same one our members have been dealing with for the past six years.  This is a man who has proven time and again he will say and do whatever it takes to claw his way to the next political position.  Six years ago, in his first campaign for governor, he sent a letter to rank and file officers throughout New Jersey promising that he would never harm their pensions.  That was a lie.

“The sad fact is that Chris Christie has been representing himself as a qualified lawman to the people of New Hampshire when the reality is that he was simply one of the biggest money bundlers for George W. Bush before he was appointed to be U.S. Attorney.  Now he thinks that putting together a press event, attacking me and lying again about his broken promises on our pensions will somehow convince police officers across the country that he has their best interests at heart.  He does not. Over the past six years, the policies implemented in Trenton have driven thousands of officers to retire, led to hundreds of officers being laid off and left thousands of officers in danger in understaffed and underfunded departments throughout New Jersey.

“Unlike the governor, I was on duty today in New Jersey and, like most days, I was wearing a badge and a gun.  Also unlike the governor, I will work a full career, never miss a pension payment, and never fail in my oath to preserve and protect the Constitution and the public.  Through his name-calling and lies, Chris Christie showed once again today that he can’t make that same statement.”  

Background: Transcript from “Law Enforcement For Christie” in Concord, NH

REPORTER: “The head of the police, PBA union in New Jersey has been pretty vocal, as I’m sure you’ve heard in the past couple of weeks…”

CHRISTIE: “Yeah, well listen, Matt…”

REPORTER: “Well let’s just ask why.”

CHRISTIE: “It’s because he’s a pension pig, that’s why. That’s all it’s about and you know that. That’s exactly what it’s all about. He’s a pension pig. That’s what it’s always been about. It’s about feeding at the trough as much as he possibly can. That’s what they’ve always been about. Rank-and-file law enforcement men and women have voted for me in overwhelming numbers in both my elections in New Jersey. And they’ll vote for me again as Governor because they know that in the things that matter the most to them—the things that matter the most to them—that I stand up with them. The fact is, I’ve also been the person who’s tried to repair their pension system for them, as well after years of neglect and mismanagement and broken promises. Right now, the police and fire system in New Jersey, since we made the reforms, are now approaching over 70 percent fully-funded, which would allow them to return to giving themselves cost-of-living adjustments, if that’s what they choose to do. That would not have happened if not for the reforms that we made in 2011. Listen, never be fooled by that union leaders necessarily represent the points of view of their members, and that’s particularly true in New Jersey, when those guys spend more time in Trenton and in the Statehouse than most legislators. The last time that guy strapped on a gun and tried to defend somebody was quite a long time ago. If he wants to be a politician, that’s fine, he’ll be treated like a politician.”

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