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Unions Suing Christie Administration To Force Required Pension Fund Payment

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- More than a dozen public sector unions have announced plans to take the Christie administration to court, again, to get full funding for the state pension system.

Gov. Chris Christie, in last week's budget address, said he plans to make a $1.3-billion payment to the pension system in fiscal year 2016, more than that paid by any other governor.

Just one problem: Christie's highly touted pension reform law requires a $2.9-billion payment.

Hetty Rosenstein, head of the Communications Workers of America, says, "The governor has responsibility, individual responsibility, for coming up with funding it. He cannot just say 'We don't have the money.' He cannot just walk away from the state's obligation."

"He's short again on the law he signed, so we are taking him to court for the third time, with plenty of notice," notes Wendell Steinhauer, president of the New Jersey Education Association, which represents teachers.

While the unions failed in their first lawsuit, the second resulted in an order for the state to make a full $2.25-billion payment into the fund by June 30th. That order is being appealed by the administration to the state Supreme Court.

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