Christie ties pension dispute to state budget, says court has no place in the process

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his plan to lower contributions to public employee pension funds is a state budget matter and no business of the courts.

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The Christie administration is making that argument in its latest filing Thursday in a lawsuit over his plans for the state to make lower contributions than what is outlined in a 2011 law.

Christie is calling for a $1.3 billion contribution, which would be the largest ever made by the state but less than half the amount called for in the law.

The governor contends the plans are part of his state budget proposal and says it's inappropriate for unions to sue over a state budget that's scheduled to kick in July 1.

In a separate lawsuit, the New Jersey Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for May on the litigation over the current year's contributions.

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