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PO Box 295 TRENTON, NJ 08625-0295


LOCATION:

50

WEST STATE STREET

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

TRENTON,

NEW JERSEY

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY DMSION OF PENSIONS AND BENEFITS (609) 292-7524 TDD (609) 292-7718 www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions

ANDREW

P.

SIDAMON-ERISTOFF

Governor
KIM GUADAGNO

State Treasurer
FLORENCEJ. SHEPPARD

Lt. Governor

Acting Director

August 12, 2013

Lodi, NJ 07644

Dear This is in reference to your recent inquiry concerning Mayor Marc Schrick's eligibility in the State Health Benefits Program. After review of his enrollment records, It has been determined that ML Schrieks is eligible to maintain his benefits through Borough of Lodi as a part-time elected official. ML Schrieks was enrolled in both State Health Benefits and the pension fund continuously for many years prior to the enactment of Chapter 2. Any employee or officer of the local employer or the State who met the minimum work hour requirements prior to May 21, 2010 will be eligible for continued coverage under the SHBP/SEHBP provided there is no break in the employee's service or reduction in work hours. InSeptember 2010, Mr.Schreiks did qualify to transfer his benefits over to Lodi Borough since his benefits were in effect with the New Jersey Meadowland Commission. N.J.S.A. 52:14-17.26. Definitions relative to health care benefits for public employees;
(1) The term "employee" means an appointive or elective officer, a full-time employee of the State of New Jersey, or a full-time employee of an employer other than the State who appears on a regular payroll and receives a salary or wages for an average of the number of hours per week as prescribed by the governing body of the participating employer which number of hours worked shall be considered fulltime, determined by resolution, and not less than 20.(2) After the effective date [May 21, 2010] of P.L.201O, c.2, the term "employee" means (i) full-time appointive or elective officer whose hours of work are fixed at 35 or more per week, a full-time employee of the State, or a full-time employee of an employer other than the State who appears on a regular payroll and receives a salary or wages for an average of the number of hours per week as prescribed by the governing body of the participating employer which number of hours worked shall be considered full-time, determined by resolution, and not less than 25, or (ii) an appointive or elective officer, an employee of the State, or an employee of an employer other than the State who has or is eligible for health benefits coverage provided under P.L.1961, c.49 (C.52:14-17.25 et seq.) or sections 31 through 41 ofP L2007, c.103 (C.52: 14-17.46.1 et seq.) on that effective date.and continuously thereafter provided the officer or employee is covered by the definition in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

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Assistant Chief State Health Benefits Program

New Jersey Is An Equal Opportunity Employer

Printed on Recycled and Recyclable Paper

August 15,2013 Dear Ms. Joyce Decker, The Meadowlands Commission is not paying for Lodi Mayor Marc Schrieks' health benefits. The State of New Jersey is not paying for them. And unless you live in Lodi, you are not paying for them. The struggling taxpayers of Lodi are. You deemed him eligible to be "grand-fathered in" but P.L. 2010 Chapter 2 does not. Months ago, I asked your office to please cite the specific part of the law that would allow him to receive health benefits paid for by the people of Lodi when he was not enrolled by Lodi on May 21, 2010 nor was he enrolled by Lodi any time prior to that. You have been unable to cite that law to make your case. In fact, your attached letter did not address the situation at hand at all. Nowhere in the law does it state that a part-time elected official can ''transfer'' over his benefits liability from another political agency and then have municipality foot the bill from that point forward and even grand-father him in. Marc Schrieks pledged never to receive benefits from Lodi as a part-time elected official. Marc Schrieks and the entire Lodi council passed a resolution waiving their health benefits weeks before the enactment of Chapter 2. Marc Schrieks bragged that he was saving the Lodi taxpayers money by waiving his benefits weeks before the enactment of Chapter 2. Nobody in Lodi knew he was receiving benefits until I saw it listed on Lodi's "Best Practices Questionnaire". But this is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that Marc Schrieks was NOT ENROLLED by Lodi at the time of the enactment of Chapter 2 and nowhere in the law does it state that he can transfer over his benefits liability from another political agency that employed him for a short time and then laid him off. Although I am appreciative that you fmally sent me a letter after ignoring my weekly e-mails for months, I am very disappointed you ignored the actual law in addressing the matter. After receiving your letter, I am more confident today than I was four months ago that the people of Lodi are wrongfully being billed for a very expensive perk that Marc Schrieks is not entitled to under the law. I am asking you to please forward all of the information that I have sent you over the past four months to the State Treasurer, Mr. Andrew P. SidamonEristoff as well as the Governor's Office. I hope they can bring some closure to this matter. I believe that your interpretation and the issue of ''transferring'' benefits is not consistent with the actual law. I believe that Governor Christie passed many good reforms during his first year taxpayers. Those laws should not be circumvented and misinterpreted. Because and agencies like yours enabling him, Lodi had the second highest effective tax 2012. You should be looking out for the Lodi taxpayers and not misinterpreting in office to benefit local of Marc Schrieks' bad behavior rate in all of Bergen County for laws to benefit Marc Schrieks.

Sincerely,

CC: Mr. Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff, State Treasurer; Governor Chris Christie, Office of the Governor