Gov. Chris Christie Signs NJ Public Employees Benefits Bill

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed landmark employee benefits legislation requiring a half-million public workers to pay more for pension and health benefits.

Christie says the move is necessary to shore up the state’s badly underfunded retirement systems. He predicts New Jersey’s fix will be emulated nationally by other states facing similar shortfalls.

The Republican governor said the bill he signed on Tuesday got through the Legislature because of bipartisan support.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney Hears From Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney In Trenton

Democrats who lead the Legislature supported it. But most rank-and-file lawmakers sided with public-sector unions in opposing it.

The bill puts benefits for teachers, police and other public workers more in line with the private-sector.

More than 8,000 demonstrated at the Capitol last week in the last of three union-sponsored protests.

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(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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