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April 12, 2011

Re:      S-2718, Health Benefits Reform

Dear Mayor:

We recently met with Senator Beck, co-sponsor of S-2718, to discuss our concerns with S-2718, which would establish certain criteria for public employee health care benefits and require premium percentage based employee contribution. 

We have long advocated for and strongly support employees contributing to their health benefits.  As employee health benefit costs are one of the driving factors of high personnel cost, something must be done.  However, we do have concerns with S-2718 as currently written.  We have previously provided an outline of our concerns of S-2718 in our March 24th Dear Mayor letter.

We expressed our numerous concerns about the Employee Quality, Cost and Delivery (EQCD) Committee, provisions that create state mandate-state pay issues, the inability to join the State Health Benefits plan, and the varying technical concerns with the bill. 

The meeting was substantive and we are optimistic that our concerns will be addressed.  We applaud both Senate President Sweeney and Senator Beck for keeping this issue on the front burner.  Although we are still negotiating with both Senators, we would encourage you to contact your Senator, Assembly representatives and Governor to urge them to work in a collaborative fashion to develop legislation which can be implemented before the summer legislative break.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Senate President Sweeney and Senator Beck and we have reached out to the Governor’s office to discuss our concerns.

If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Lori Buckelew at or 609-695-3481 x112.

Very truly yours,


Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.                                             Wilda Diaz
Mayor, City of Orange                                           Mayor, City of Perth Amboy
Chair                                                                    Deputy Chair
Management Reform Committee                              Management Reform Committee


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


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