TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ron Dancer introduced a bill to protect taxpayers by ensuring public colleges and universities are more fiscally responsible and accountable. The bill will prohibit higher education institutions from giving severance packages to employees. It also requires the secretary of higher education to review and approve any job offers that involve multi-year contracts paying more than $100,000 per year.
“Taxpayers are never thought about in discussions regarding public colleges and universities,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Something must be done when taxpayers are footing the bill for sabbatical and severance packages, especially when the public institutions are not contractually obligated to pay these employees.”
Under the bill, if a public college or university violates this prohibition the state treasurer will debit from the institution’s state operating aid.
“College is expensive and parents do not need to struggle to pay for their child to attend while their tax dollars pay for vacations and severance pay of public-college employees,” said Dancer.
According to reports, the average annual in-state college tuition in New Jersey was $16,402 for the 2017-2018 academic year – $2,290 higher than the U.S. average.
“For far too long public institutions of higher education have created these massive salaries for staff members with the taxpayers being an afterthought, but no longer will this be the case,” said Dancer. “Someone needs to look out for the taxpayers and with this bill the secretary of higher education will do just that.”