WHELAN NEEDS TO JOIN EFFORT TO SLAM THE DOOR ON PENSION PADDING DEALS

EGG HARBOR TWP. ? Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis today called on Senator Jim Whelan to sponsor legislation which would ban former legislators from receiving pension padding appointments for two years after leaving office.

?It?s time to stop giving full-time government benefits with part-time jobs to former legislators,? said Davis. ?Senator Jim Whelan campaigned on a platform of restoring integrity and ethics in state government. But the appointment of Frank Blee, whose seat in the Assembly chamber is still warm, to the Local Finance Board continues the revolving door mentality in Trenton —- that it?s ok to use state jobs to prop up pensions for the politically connected. It?s no wonder the state pension system is on the brink of bankruptcy.

?The Press of Atlantic City was right on the money when it said yesterday that ?there would be far less suspicion about deals and quid pro quos if the perks of these jobs were less lucrative and if there was a decent cooling-off interval before lawmakers plopped back on the state payroll.?

?The Legislature needs to step up and stop this taxpayer rip off now,? said Davis. ?Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo are doing the right thing by sponsoring a bill in the Assembly to end this practice. It is only right that Senator Whelan sponsor companion legislation in the Senate.?

The Polistina-Amodeo bill would ban appointments of former legislators for two years after they leave the Legislature.

?There are many examples of former legislators getting political golden parachutes and landing in cushy state positions,? said Davis. ?It would be nice to see a bipartisan effort to stop this practice. Polistina and Amodeo are already on board. It?s time for Senator Whelan to demonstrate that he is committed to restoring integrity in state government too.?

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