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‘Shared Services’ Bill Approved by New Jersey Senate Committee

Legislation to create shared services programs to generate taxpayer savings passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bill would intend to create greater efficiencies by pooling resources.

The legislation, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11), would encourage shared serviced agreements and joint contracts. Additionally, it would require a study from the Local Unit, Alignment, Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARRC) focusing on where savings could be found.

“The new federal tax law will have a hard impact on the residents of New Jersey and their ability to deduct local taxes for community services. Shared services are a proven way to continue to provide the services important to our quality of life with reduced costs,” said Sweeney.

Provisions of the Bill

Under the bill, municipalities that do not approve a LUARCC recommendation for shared services would be subject to loss of state aid equal to LUARCC’s estimated cost savings for implementing the program.

In the case one town approves a LUARCC recommendation and a partner town denies it, only the town denying the recommendation would be subject to the loss of aid.

“We continue to look for ways to encourage shared agreements, and support our towns and counties who are thinking outside the box in order to enhance services for residents through the efficient use of tax dollars,” said Gopal.

Changes to Civil Service Rules

Local leaders argued Civil Service rules and tenure provisions often stood in the way of shared services agreements and joint contracts. The bill would address this in a number of ways.

Local units would not be required to provide employees terminated for reasons of economy and efficiency terminal leave payment, and the Civil Service Commission would not be required to review employment reconciliation plans.

Additional provisions would be relaxed by the Commission upon request by the parties to the agreement, and the provider local unit would be required to hire all employees in the pool until the pool is exhausted.

“Adding to the complexity and difficulty is the fact that we have 565 municipalities, more than 600 school districts, 21 county governments and hundreds of authorities responsible for delivering government services. That’s why increasing shared services at the local level is so important and such a critical tool in controlling property taxes,” said Sweeney.

One comment

  1. I am a senior citizen and former home owner. I have paid taxes for many years. the school issue is a big fat mess. I have been hearing about how many districts in NJ there are for many years so………get off your overpaid hinees and do something about it. Look how we struggle all of us. Kids are using computers for home schooling. parents are now the academic teachers. Is it fair to have school teachers on a computer talking to her class till 3pm only a few days a week and make so much money. everytime I hear the weather is bad or there is a convention, holiday, meeting, etc. I want to regurgitate.
    I truthfully wonder how these teachers are so favored by gov murphy. Only because they have the biggest union in NJ to vote for him,. I have no children. I dont know why I have to pay for schools. In florida, they dont pay for schools when they reach a certain age. Well, all I can say is that I lived in Newark NJ as a child and had a fantastic education with truly sincere real teachers who didnt try to rule their classrooms but instead teach and do it with caring and quality. I will be anxious to see how this shared service pans out with these school districts. Mrs. Diane Albarella

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