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If Feds Step in to Address Pension Crisis, Public Workers Won’t Be Winners

Former state treasurer and NJ Spotlight contributor Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff discusses the federal government helping New Jersey and other states with public-pension problems

One of the key issues Gov. Chris Christie is expected to try to tackle once again when he gives his final budget address before a joint session of the Legislature today is public worker pensions.

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, who served as state treasurer under Christie, caused a stir when he wrote an opinion column last week for NJ Spotlight in which he predicted the federal government will step in to deal with the pension crisis for every state, New Jersey included.

Explaining that it is a prediction — “not a wish or a desire” — Sidamon-Eristoff, who crafted several of Christie’s earlier budgets, discussed this and other issues he expects the governor to address in an interview with NJTV News chief political correspondent Michael Aron yesterday.

Sidamon-Eristoff made clear that on the pension issue he does not envisage a no-strings-attached federal bailout for New Jersey and other states with underfunded public pension systems. In return for “some sort of transitional assistance to states” he said “…the feds are likely to impose restrictions, or conditions, on the states. So at the end of the day, public employees in New Jersey and elsewhere, if this happens, will end up with much less rich benefits than they have now.”

Read the full interview on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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