NJSpotlight Public Pension Roundtable Focuses on Solutions to Funding Crisis

NJSpotlight's July 8 roundtable on the New Jersey Public Pension financial crisis went before the StateBroadcastNews.com cameras. Clockwise from upper left: Keynote speaker William Glasgall of the Volcker Alliance; Dudley Burdge of the Communications Workers of America, former NJ Gov. James J. Florio, and one of the panels during the conference.

TRENTON, NJ–(SBN)–A contentious discussion of possible solutions to New Jersey’s public pension funding crisis, sponsored by NJSpotlight.com, the public policy news and issues website, was covered in video by StateBroadcastNews.com in Trenton on July 8. The roundtable is the latest in a series of conferences produced by NJSpotlight.com and videotaped by SBN for distribution on the NJSpotlight website and YouTube channel.

Due to years of underfunding, New Jersey’s public-employee pension system is at least $44 billion in debt . The retiree healthcare system is an even bigger hot spot, as costs spiral out of control. With baby boomers retiring and the costs of the system threatening to strangle all discretionary spending, officials are searching for a way to solve these problems. Democrats are looking to bolster the system with guaranteed payments. Republicans are hoping to transform the system using 401(k)s. Both parties are looking at ways to create lower costs through efficiencies in the health system.

On July 8 NJ Spotlight and state and regional leaders gathered to discuss the problem and possible solutions. One of the goals: Evaluate how this issue can affect the retirement of public employees and impact taxpayers and services.

Keynote Address: Happy New Fiscal Year. Now Get Ready for Troubles Ahead

William Glasgall, State and Local Program Director, The Volcker Alliance

William Glasgall joined the Volcker Alliance in 2014 as Director of the Alliance’s State and Local programs. Previously, he was Managing Editor at Bloomberg News, overseeing coverage of state and local government and financial news that won numerous awards from the National Press Club Foundation and other organizations.

Panel Discussion: Pensions and Possible Solutions

Tom Byrne, Chairman, State Investment Council William Glasgall, Director, State and Local Programs, Volcker Alliance Dominick Marino, President, Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey Edward Richardson, Chief Executive, New Jersey Education Association Hetty Rosenstein, State Director, Communications Workers of America

Panel Discussion: Retiree Healthcare Costs Spiraling Out of Control

Assemblyman Daniel Benson, New Jersey State Legislature;
 Dudley Burdge, Senior Staff Representative, Communications Workers of America Local 1032; Stephen Eide, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute Thomas Healey, New Jersey Pension and Benefit Study Commission; Kevin Kelleher, Director of Research, New Jersey Education Association

Moderator: John Reitmeyer, public finance writer, NJ Spotlight

About the Author

Steve Lubetkin
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. In May 2019, he began anchoring and reporting for the new weekly podcast, "The CRE News Hour," a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry. From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta. He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for NJSpotlight.com, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at steve@statebroadcastnews.com.