TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday vetoed a bill requiring quarterly payments into the state’s public pension fund, and another measure calling for a $300 million payment into the system for fiscal year 2016.
Christie vetoed the bills backed by Democratic leadership.
He said requiring quarterly payments into the nearly $80 billion system represents an improper intrusion on the executive’s prerogative to determine timing. He also called the $300 million payment “accounting gimmickry.”
Lawmakers pursued the legislation in part to avoid shorting the fund in the future. They also sought to use $300 million in projected surplus to fund the pension.
The vetoes are the latest in a long-running feud between the Republican governor who is seeking his party’s nomination for president and state Democrats and union officials.
The state Supreme Court in June had overturned a lower-court judge’s order that told the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled Legislature to work out a way to increase pension contributions for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
In a 5-2 ruling, the court ruled there wasn’t an enforceable contract to force the full payment, as unions had argued there was.
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