Christie Budget Will Include Pension Cuts; Gov. Will Negotiate For Further Reforms

Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will give his budget address on Tuesday afternoon, and details are already leaking about what it will contain.

The governor’s office says that the budget will contain numerous pension proposals, including some that cut benefits for public workers.

Christie will also announce that he will begin negotiating pension changes with the state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association.

One thing the budget won’t contain: the state’s full actuarially required contribution to the pension system. The budget calls for a $1.3 billion payment to the system, which is the largest in state history.

But the payment was supposed to be closer to $3 billion. Christie cut the payment last year by nearly $1.5 billion; a judge ruled yesterday that New Jersey must pay the full contribution, but the state is appealing the ruling.

More from the Associated Press:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will propose a new round of major pension and health benefit cuts for public employees as he delivers his budget address Tuesday, a day after a judge ordered his administration to restore $1.57 billion in delayed payments to the state’s pension system.

Christie will dedicate his annual budget address to outlining the danger of the state’s spiraling pension and benefits costs and propose a series of changes based on a long-delayed study commission’s findings, according to guidance provided by the governor’s office.

Christie, who is considering a run for president in 2016, will also announce that the New Jersey Education Association — the state’s largest teachers union and long one of his main political foils — has signed onto a “road map” for further reforms. He’ll call on state lawmakers to join with him.


Christie is expected to propose a $1.3 billion payment into the pension system in fiscal year 2016 — a number his office is touting as the largest in history but which still doesn’t come close to the $2.25 billion that the earlier deal called for this year. Christie had been on board with the higher figure before cutting it back amid a surprise state revenue shortfall. The full payment for fiscal 2016 under the old agreement would have been around $3 billion.

New Jersey has the fourth largest pension liability in the country.


Photo by Bob Jagendorf from Manalapan, NJ, USA (NJ Governor Chris Christie) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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