Friday, September 22, 2023
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Gov. Chris Christie|Takes Another Hit

(CN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's quest for the Republican presidential nomination took another blow Monday when a state judge ordered him to put another $1.6 billion into pension funds for retired state workers.

Public workers' union sued Christie last year after he said he would not make the pension payments he'd agreed to in 2001.

Mercer County Judge Mary Jacobson issued her ruling Monday, one day before Christie was to deliver his budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

"The court is unwilling to rely on what has now become a succession of empty promises," Jacobson wrote.

Jacobson ruled that Christie must make the pension payments he agreed to before he ordered the $1.6 billion cut.

In her 130-page order, Jacobson cited Christie's statements that his cuts were his "biggest governmental victory" that would "save" New Jersey's pension system.

In the last budget year, Christie reduced state contributions to its pension system from $1.7 billion to $700 million and wants to contribute $681 million this year instead of the planned $2.25 billion, according to The Associated Press.

It's too early to say what effect, if any, the ruling will have on Christie's quest for the Republican presidential nomination next year.

The square-talking, confrontational governor was rising in the polls until the 2013 "Bridgegate" scandal indicated that Christie, or his aides, may have intentionally snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge to punish a Democratic mayor for failing to support Christie.

New Jersey's budget year begins on July 1.

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