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NJ Public Workers Pension Contributions Bill Heads To Senate Monday

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Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A contentious bill that raises pension and health benefits contributions for more than a half-million New Jersey government workers goes back to the state Senate on Monday for what appears to be a formality.

A provision in the bill allowing new health plans that restrict out-of-state care will be stricken.

Since the New Jersey Assembly approved the employee benefits bill and the supplemental measure Thursday, it’s now up to the Democrat-controlled Senate to cross the last “T” before sending the legislation to Governor Chris Christie.

The divisive bill passed 46-32 with support from all Republicans who were present and several Democrats.

The New Jersey Senate approved the bill Monday.

The measure requires 500,000 teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers to pay a portion of their health insurance based on income. It also increases pension contributions.

The state’s retirement funds are underfunded by $110 billion. The bill’s backers say higher contributions are needed to ensure solvency.

Christie has been on the national stage since Friday proclaiming victory for the bill, which requires public workers to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums based on income and raises their pension contributions.

Proponents said the increases were necessary to shore up the underfunded systems.

More than 8,000 rallied at the Statehouse Thursday to oppose the bill.

Do you support public workers making contribution to their own pensions and health care plans? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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