N.J. Unions Petition U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Pension Funding Case

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Early this summer, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Chris Christie didn’t act illegally when he slashed state pension contributions by over $3 billion between 2013 and 2015, despite having signed a law in 2011 mandating such payments.

Now, 16 unions are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to put the pension case on its docket.

From NJ.com:

In a petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for 16 labor groups — including the New Jersey Education Association, Communications Workers of America and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association — argued that the New Jersey Supreme Court should have applied the protections of the federal Contract Clause to the deal.

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer said in a statement the state breached its contract with its members and it will “pursue every avenue to protect and enforce those rights and to ensure that the state meets its obligations to our members. Our members have done everything required of them by the law. It is time for the state to be subject to the law as well.”

[…]

[The petition] picks apart the New Jersey Supreme Court’s June 9 ruling that the contract, ostensibly created under a 2011 pension reform law, conflicted with state constitutional provisions that the Legislature cannot create large debts without the voters’ consent and that one Legislature cannot tells a future Legislature how to spend its money.

That ruling dealt a major blow to the public workers, who challenged Gov. Chris Christie’s cuts to annual pension contributions, but was a major victory for the governor, who was spared from scraping together $1.57 billion in the previous fiscal year, $1.8 billion this year and billions more in the future.

Last week, three police unions filed a similar petition.

 

Photo by Joe Gratz via Flickr CC License

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