February 26, 2015

Drinker Biddle Lawyers Play Pivotal Role in New Jersey's Pension and Health Roadmap Commission Report

Florham Park Partners Are Counsel to the Commission

On Tuesday, February 24, the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefits Study Commission released its much anticipated final Report, titled, “Roadmap to Resolution.” In its Report, the bipartisan Commission, appointed by Governor Chris Christie in August 2014, has proposed fundamental constitutional, statutory and plan design reforms to New Jersey’s public employee benefits system, which currently spends approximately $19 billion annually providing retirement and health benefits for 800,000 State and local public employees and retirees. These reforms include a novel proposal to transfer control of these plans to employees.

Florham Park partners George H. Kendall, Kenneth J. Wilbur and Thomas F. Campion played a pivotal role as counsel to the Commission over the last seven months. Together, they drafted the Commission’s final Report, the Commission’s earlier Status Report, and leveraged their experience to facilitate the tense negotiations between the Commission members, Gov. Christie’s office and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) leading the issuance of the joint NJEA/Commission “Roadmap” featured prominently in Governor Christie’s February 24th Budget address and news reports of that speech.

Their involvement was instrumental in the unprecedented accord reached between Gov. Christie and the NJEA that sets forth guidelines and a timetable for ongoing discussions to resolve open issues which would permit the State to stabilize its pension system for the next 35 years. The Drinker Biddle team will continue to facilitate conversations to solve this complex and sensitive issue.

The Roadmap to Resolution can be read in its entirety here.

For news coverage of the report, please visit the links below.

The New York Times

Washington Post

The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Wall Street Journal
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