This evening, Governor Christie signed the FY 2015 budget, but not before using his red pen to line-item veto billions of dollars in legally required pension payments.
Christie also vetoed revenue increases necessary to help the state meet its obligations to retirees, middle class workers, and families, and to protect New Jersey’s credit rating.
The Legislature put a budget bill on the Governor’s desk that included the legally required $2.25 billion pension payment. The Governor reduced the payment to $681 million and called on the legislature to enact further reforms to reduce benefits. The Governor also vetoed NJEA-supported budget language that would have required the state to make quarterly payments into the pension system.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto issued a statement saying: “The governor’s failure to fully fund our pension obligation will push New Jersey closer toward fiscal disaster, and his rejection of tax relief for working families and continued support for tax breaks for millionaires is once again disappointing," the Speaker said. "The ramifications will unfortunately be adversely felt by taxpayers for years to come."
Senate President Sweeney said: “We are obviously disappointed, but the governor's actions will not prevent us from continuing to push for policies and programs that keep our commitments to retirees and middle class New Jersey families.”
NJEA continues to pursue legal action through the courts to require the state to meet its obligations to public pension systems.