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Christie Administration Appeals Order To Pump Funds Into Pension System

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Christie administration on Monday formally asked an appellate judge to review a case involving the New Jersey public pension system.

Court documents posted Monday show the administration is asking that a March 31 filing deadline for briefs be set. The request was made Friday.

Governor Chris Christie is appealing a February ruling from state Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson that delivered a victory for public sector unions.

New Jersey Education Association executive director Ed Richardson said a review would not be helpful.

"Every day we wait, the pension liability grows," Richardson said.

Jacobson ruled last month that Christie and lawmakers must collaborate to find $1.57 billion to pay into the system, but neither Christie nor legislators have expressed much optimism at the chances of doing that.

The same day the ruling was announced, Christie's office said he would appeal it.

The payment falls below the amount agreed to in a 2011 deal between Christie and Democrats that he signed into law, and Christie last year cut payments after the state's revenues fell short.

The ruling came as Christie sought support from a Democrat-controlled Legislature for a $1.3 billion payment into the system for fiscal year 2016. Christie has pointed out he paid more into the fund than any previous governor.

Democrats have mostly opposed Christie's plan, which he has said could serve as a national model.

The idea included freezing the current system, transferring ownership from the state to the unions and holding a vote on a constitutional amendment on a funding source.

Christie called the idea a "roadmap" for overhauling the system and announced the support of the NJEA, the state's largest teacher's union.

But 14 unions recently also announced a new lawsuit against Christie, and in a sign of the strained relations between the governor and the union, the NJEA is party to the new lawsuit seeking pension payments.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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