June 14, 2011
Re: S-2839, Extends "Whistleblower" Protections
The League of Municipalities recently testified in opposition to Senator Loretta Weinberg’s bill, S-2839, which extends "whistleblower" protections to and employee disclosure of governmental mismanagement, waste, and abuse.
The League of Municipalities supports the protections offered by the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) in the appropriate circumstances. However, the language offered in this amendment to CEPA is so broad that the result will only be increased costs to taxpayers.
Statutes that permit fee shifting, such as CEPA, are responsible for a disproportionately increasing share of a municipality’s expenses. According to the MEL/JIF, these laws cost towns approximately $1000 per employee, mostly in attorney’s fees. Broadening the situations where CEPA applies will significantly increase that number.
We have reached out to Senator Weinberg’s office to set up a meeting in order to seek a compromise that will protect towns and taxpayers. We will keep you updated on this important issue.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require further information.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.