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The 2017 Pension Political Power 25: Steve Sweeney

< 25 Top Pension Power Players12. Steve SweeneyPresident,
New Jersey State Senate

Last November, New Jersey achieved a dubious honor when it surpassed Illinois and Kentucky to claim the most underfunded pension system in the U.S. The Garden State has $135.7 billion less than it needs to cover its pension promises, and fixing the funding gap has been an ongoing political challenge. As the powerful president of the State Senate, Steve Sweeney, 57, is on the front line of the state’s bloody pension battles. He was the driving force behind a law passed in December that requires New Jersey to make quarterly rather than annual payments to its pension system. Governor Chris Christie vetoed two previous iterations of the bill — calling it an improper and unwarranted intrusion in 2014 — but conceded after a revision shifted borrowing costs associated with those payments to the pension fund. Pension politics will loom large in New Jersey’s upcoming state elections, slated for November. Though Sweeney has opted not to run for governor, he will be an important power behind whoever inherits the throne from an embattled, term-limited Christie. — Jess Delaney


 The 2017 Pension Political Power 25Click below to view profiles
1. Andy PuzderSecretary of Labor2. Bruce RaunerGovernor of Illinois3. Betsy DeVosSecretary of Education4. Laura & John ArnoldFounders,
Laura and John Arnold Foundation5. Steven MnuchinSecretary of the Treasury
6. Wilbur RossSecretary of Commerce7. Tani Cantil-SakauyeCalifornia Chief Justice8. Paul RyanSpeaker of the House9. Anthony ScaramucciFounder, SkyBridge Capital10. Kevin de LeónCalifornia State Senator and President Pro Tempore
11. Mike EnziChairman, Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security12. Steve SweeneyPresident,
New Jersey State Senate13. Jerry BrownGovernor of California14. Corey LewandowskiCo-founder, Avenue Strategies15. Paul SingerPresident,
Elliott Management Corp.
16. Randel JohnsonSenior Vice President, Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce17. Joe ManchinU.S. Senator18. Kenneth FeinbergFounder and managingpartner, Feinberg Rozen19. Scott WalkerGovernor of Wisconsin20. Richard TrumkaPresident, AFL-CIO
21. Mike RawlingsMayor of Dallas22. Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senator23. Kent MasonPartner,
Davis & Harman24. Bernie SandersU.S. Senator25. Randi WeingartenPresident, American Federation of Teachers