New Jersey Assembly passes public worker benefits legislation

    The debate over benefits and pension legislation in New Jersey has not been without its drama.

    Yesterday’s meeting of the Assembly proved no different. An inflatable rat and a hearse joined public workers as they continued their protest against legislation that would hike their payments for health benefits and pensions.

    Legislators brought their own suspension, not meeting for a vote until after 6 p.m.

    Not even yesterday’s prayer vigil could stop the Assembly from passing the bill the Senate has already approved.

    NJ.com has a lengthy report on the bill’s effects and implications for the state’s public workers. The legislation signals the end of unions’ collective bargaining rights.

    “We are putting the people first and daring to touch the third rail of politics in order to bring reform to an unsustainable system,” reads a portion of a statement from Gov. Chris Christie. But the more than 8,500 protesters at the capitol yesterday disagree.

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