TRENTON, N.J. – Legislation preventing elected officials from padding their own pockets with retroactive pay increases was passed by the Assembly today. Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz sponsored the bill (S3369/A5090) after the mayor of Linden finagled a salary increase to $100,000, a 36 percent raise, dating back almost a year to his first day in office. The bill passed the Senate 31-1 earlier this month.
Taxpayers were left holding the bag for more than $26,000 in back pay.
“It’s unfortunate we have to legislate against fiscal irresponsibility,” said Munoz (R-Union). “This is not about politics. This is about taking accountability as an official receiving a taxpayer-funded salary. Members of the legislature can’t vote themselves retroactive raises, and there is strong support on both sides of the aisle to place the same restrictions on locally elected officials.”
Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) sponsors an identical bill (S3369) approved by the Senate by a vote of 32-1 on March 14.
“I thank Sen. Scutari for his efforts on behalf of the people in Union County and across the state. Working together we can send this sensible legislation to the governor’s desk,” said Munoz.
In the spirit of the mayor’s money-grab, if passed by Gov. Murphy, the bill would go into effect Dec. 1, 2018, almost three weeks before Linden’s city council approved the ordinance granting the raise. It would apply to elected officials of counties, municipalities, school districts, and any other political subdivisions of the state.