Gov. Chris Christie was the keynote speaker at the 47th Conference of Mayors in New Jersey. Christie presented a plan that included a proposed constitutional amendment to limit property tax increases to 2.5 percent per year. The plan to assist municipalities would include collective bargaining reform. Christie has called for changes that prohibit any new labor contract, including all salary and benefits costs, from exceeding a 2.5 percent cap. Recent pension reform has been signed into law, but the Governor wants more. Christie believes that additional legislation must roll back the 9 percent increase in pension benefits granted by the Legislature in 2001 for all pension service credit earned in the future, and cap payouts for accumulated sick leave at $15,000 for current as well as future employees to the extent permitted by law.
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