Singer dismissed the suggestion the bill is tailored to political players like Norcross, the Camden-born Democrat who influences a wide voting bloc in Trenton and has become one of the state’s most powerful figures through alliances with Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester.
Sweeney, who did not return calls seeking comment, had posted the bill for a vote in the Senate this week, over the objection of Senate Democrats who described it as a Republican measure catering to special interests.
Last week the Legislature took quick action on a bill that gives special benefits to a Camden “renaissance” school partly backed by Norcross. That bill, which Christie is expected to sign, also provides expanded pensions for 600 Camden public employees.
Singer said of the latest measure, “If this becomes law, Norcross will be just one of many companies competing in this market.”
Daniel Fee, a spokesman for Norcross, said Norcross was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
“Conner Strong & Buckelew has always supported expanding the number of affordable options for insurance purchasers,” Fee said in a statement. “These vehicles are promoted by many other states because they provide broad benefit to small- and medium-sized businesses and help create jobs.”
The federal government says that such private insurance pools — known formally as “Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements,” or MEWAs — have saved money for employers in some cases. But MEWAs also have been susceptible to mismanagement and fraud, according to the government.