At times reading the news, one has the impresion that New Jersey is the home of “double dipping” – the process by which an individual has two government jobs simultaneously and therefore collects benefits commensurate with two positions, or retires from one public job, starts collecting a pension and immediately begins a second public job. Of course, North Bergen in NJCU’s own county of Hudson has a triple-dippper – Nicholas Sacco. (Please read this Star-Ledger Editorial Board recent piece – Time to end double-dipping by N.J. public employees.) Well, we are not alone; this situation plagues every state and here is a database compiling the various laws dealing with this odious practice. Additional writings on this embedded tradition in New Jersey include: Ethical First Step: Ban Double Dipping (Hall Institute); Meet the Biggest “Triple Dipper’ in the New Jersey Statehouse (along with a list of 15 current legislators also collecting state pensions as well as other ‘double dipping” reports; from New Jersey Watchdog); Gov. Christie’s pension issue: N.J. probe looks at running mate, double-dipping (MSNBC); and N.J.legislators discuss “double-dipping” of pension and salary, reforms to public pension system (nj.com) And while the highly-touted pension reform legislation became law – P.L. 2011, chapter 78 – it did little to stop these egregious abuses. Here is an article from The Wall Street Journal: State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar in which New Jersey is featured, along with other states.
Archive for May, 2012
The proposed contract is still being voted upon; here are some of the highlights along with a supporting letter from the CWA Executive Branch.
During Summer I (May 29-July 2) and Summer II (July 9-August 9), the Library will be open Sunday, 11am-4:45pm; Monday thru Thursday, 7:30am-8:45pm. We will be open 8am-5pm on July 2,3, 5; and August 13-16, 20-23. The Library then begins a weekday schedule of 8:30-4:30 until the beginning of the Fall semester – Tuesday, September 4. (The Library is closed for Labor Day, Monday, September 3.)
The following CRS documents shed more light on the operations of Congress: Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2011; Members of Congress Who Die in Office: Historic and Current Practices; Congressional Salaries and Allowances 2012; Use of the Capitol Rotunda and Capitol Grounds ; and Legislative Branch Agency Appointments: History, Processes, and Recent Proposals.
The Condition of Education is an annual publication replete with current statistics that examine the various levels of education in this country. “This year’s report presents 49 indicators of important developments and trends in U.S. education. These indicators focus on participation in education, elementary and secondary education and outcomes, and postsecondary education and outcomes. The report also uses a group of the indicators to take a closer look at high school in the United States over the last twenty years.” (iii) Dozens of figures and tables range from “Distance Education in Public Schools”(44) to “Education Expenditure by Country” (60) to “Faculty Salaries, Benefits, and Total Compensation”(106). Culled from a variety of sources, this yearly report is a treasure trove of information.
This important report from the Congressional Research Service – Understanding China’s Political System – goes into detail on what institutional bodies/entities control the politics in China. Central players are profiled and their roles defined; i.e. The People’s Liberation Army, the Communist Party, the State, big business, and universities. In less than forty pages, an understanding of this country’s vast political system becomes a little clearer. Other great sites include: Council on Foreign Relations: China (with an interactive timeline on U.S.-China relations); Chatham House: China; Brookings Institute. John L Thornton China Center (with an ongoing series of biographies of future Politburo members along with side links to other biographical sources); and Strategic Studies Institute: China Studies (a vast array of online books and reports).