TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A judge on Monday ordered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the state Legislature to put more money into pension funds for retired public workers.
In December, officials at the Police and Fire Retirement System and two other funds filed a lawsuit after Christie said he would not make the full pension payments he had agreed to in a 2011 overhaul that was one of his main accomplishments.
Public workers unions had already sued Christie before that over the contribution cuts, asserting that he went back on his promise to make up for a shortfall in pension contributions caused by governors of both parties making skipping or skimping on pension contributions.
The plaintiffs' lawyer on Monday said a $1.57 billion payment has been ordered.
Judge Orders Christie To Put More Funds Into State Employee Pensions
Monday's ruling from Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson is a major blow for Christie and could force major changes in the state budget late in the fiscal year.
As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, the Christie administration vowed an appeal Monday in a harshly-worded statement, blaming the ruling on judicial activism.
State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) said the ruling will force major changes to the state budget late in the fiscal year.
"It complicates matters, and the governor, instead of facing the reality that he lied to the people of the State of New Jersey; that he lied to the Legislature, is doubling down on the same tired old rhetoric – criticizing liberal judges as opposed to dealing with the reality of the problem," Wisniewski said.
Christie said reducing payments last year and this year was the only reasonable way for New Jersey to balance its budget after tax revenue fell short of predictions.
At the time of the December lawsuit, Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said the governor had contributed more to pension funds than any other governor in New Jersey history.
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