HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — After a couple of days in New Hampshire, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was back in his home state Thursday – and he got an earful at a town hall meeting in Hasbrouck Heights.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, a few hundred teachers and their supporters from around the area stood outside the meeting, taking issue with state pension funding.

The town hall included a more than 15-minute exchange with Steve Panagiotou, 47, of Waldwick, who told Christie that he and his wife are worried she won’t have a pension when she retires from her job teaching.

“You broke the law,” Panagiotou told Christie, referring to the governor’s plans for the state to make lower contributions than what is outlined in a 2011 law. “You still brag about the law.”

Christie told Panagiotou that the state doesn’t have the money to make the full payment.

“The core problem is this stuff is too expensive,” he said. “I can’t.”

“How about the corporate welfare, $82 million?” Panagiotou fired back.

“Now, we’ve created $175,000 new private-sector jobs in this state in the last five years,” Christie said.

Christie said the state is at a breaking point without pension and health benefit cuts again.

“Do you want to raise the income tax to 29 percent, or raise the sales tax from 7 percent to 10 percent?” Christie said. “Because those are the choices.”

Their long exchange ended with a handshake.

“Steve has a legitimate concern for him and his family,” Christie said. “I don’t want to blow him off.”

Christie held a town hall this week in New Hampshire, on top of a series of meet-and-greets and a major policy speech on entitlement reform. He is considering a run for president in 2016.

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