Policy: Labor

Judge to hear arguments over pension contributions

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Associated Press,Labor,New Jersey,Entitlements,Chris Christie,Budgets and Deficits,Pensions

TRENTON, N.J. — A judge is set to hear arguments over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's plan to use pension payments to balance the budget.

Public employee unions on Wednesday tell the court the current budget has unspent funds that could go toward pensions.

The governor must bridge an unexpected $2.75 billion budget gap over the next 13 months.

Christie proposed closing the gap mostly by scrapping about $2.5 billion in payments that he agreed to three years ago as part of an overhaul of a public workers pension system left underfunded by decades of skipped or skimped state contributions.

Democrats want to raise revenue by increasing income taxes on residents earning more than $1 million a year, among other measures.

The new budget must be in place by Tuesday.

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