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Christie's last N.J. budget will include full scheduled pension payment

Tuesday, February 14, 2017   (0 Comments)
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NJ.com 02/14/17

Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said his last budget proposal that will be revealed later this month will include a pension payment that meets his promised contribution schedule. Speaking on his monthly radio show, Christie said the payment will be a $650 million increase over last. At that time, Christie proposed a $1.86 billion payment to the declining government worker pension system that he ultimately approved in the final budget sent to him by lawmakers.

"Yeah," Christie responded when "Ask the Governor" host Eric Scott asked whether this year's budget would include the full scheduled payment for the year. Christie is scheduled to give his final budget address on Feb. 28. The governor said he's "85 percent done" with the proposed budget and doesn't "think they'll be any big surprises." But when Scott asked if pension and health benefit reform or school funding reform would work its way into the budget, Christie responded: "Could be. Stay tuned." The answer suggested Christie's final budget that lacks any "big surprises" could very well spur backlash.

Last year, Christie announced he would contribute $1.86 billion into the pension system. The proposed payment was the largest in New Jersey history, but also just 40 percent of what actuaries recommend. The governor ultimately signed the $34.8 billion budget lawmakers sent him that closely resembled his original proposal, including the $1.86 billion pension payment.


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