TRENTON, N.J. – A judge has ordered Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the state Legislature to put more money into pension funds for retired public workers.
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Unions for public workers sued Christie after he announced last year he would not make the full pension payments he had agreed to in a 2011 overhaul that was one of his main accomplishments. The plaintiffs' lawyer says a $1.57 billion payment has been ordered.
Monday's ruling from Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson is a major blow for Christie and could force big changes in the state budget late in the fiscal year. The state government is expected to appeal.
Christie is preparing a presidential campaign. He says reducing payments last year and this year was the only reasonable way for the state to balance its budgets after tax revenue fell short of expectations last year.