Senate to Act on Bill Protecting State Workers From Lost Pay During Shutdown

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney announced today that the Senate will meet next week to act on legislation to protect state employees from losing pay during the brief government shutdown.

The bill, to be considered by the Senate Thursday, will be sponsored by Senate President Sweeney and Senator Linda Greenstein.

“State workers should not be penalized for the government closure that was completely out of their control,” said Senator Sweeney. “We know that hard-working public employees depend on their paychecks and we want to ensure they don’t see them cut as a result of the brief shutdown. I’ve scheduled a voting session for next week because addressing this issue is a priority.”

The bill provides that all involuntarily furloughed state employees under the three day implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order No. 228 shall receive their salary or wage payments for the period of the state government shut down from July 1 through July 3, 2017. The senators said the funding is already included in the state budget, so the legislation would not cost any additional money.

“State employees were caught in an unfortunate set of circumstances and many were unable to go to work, through no fault of their own. We cannot allow this to negatively impact the workers, who have dedicated their careers to public service, or their families,” said Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer and Middlesex). “We are acting quickly to make sure they are protected and that they receive full pay despite the brief closure. I want to thank the Senate President for moving expeditiously on this for the sake of the workers.”

“We succeeded in implementing a budget that addresses important priorities, including a significant increase in school aid and support for a wide range of programs and services that residents depend on. We need to finish the job and ensure that state workers are compensated,” added Sweeney.

The Senate voting session is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017.