Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wagner: Public Payrolls Should "Go Green" to Protect Taxpayers & Environment

Bergen Assemblywoman Cites New State Audit That Shows $1 Million Annual Savings

(Paramus) - Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) on Wednesday cited a recent legislative audit of the State Office of Management and Budget as further evidence for the need to act on her legislation to institute paperless payrolls for all public employees and retirees, a move that would provide substantial savings for taxpayers.

"This is a smart move, both from a cost-savings perspective and an environmentally-friendly perspective," said Wagner.  "Both the state, and our taxpayers, stand to save roughly $1 million per year by moving to an entirely paperless payroll system.  This is a move whose time has come, particularly in such a difficult economic climate."

Wagner also pointed to recent news reports citing Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff's agreement that a switch to paperless payrolls would provide substantial savings for the state as further evidence that the time is right for this move.

In November, Wagner introduced a bill (A-3503) that would require the direct deposit of net pay for all public employees of the state into a bank account designated by the employee.  This requirement would also apply to other state entities that do not use the centralized payroll system, including public institutions of higher education, as well as all county, municipal, and school district employees.

Currently, public employees only receive direct deposit if they choose to opt into it.  In addition, all information concerning net pay and any accompanying information that is typically provided to employees in paper form will be available only on the Internet with restricted access to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the information.

The bill also mandates that all recurring payments to state and locally administered retirement systems for public employees who retire on or after January 1st following the enactment of the bill be directly deposited and that all information concerning net retirement payments be made available to the recipient only on the Internet in the same manner as for public employees.

The bill would take effect on January 1st following its enactment.

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