The New Jersey Police Benevolent Association is one of the dozen unions that filed a lawsuit against the state when Chris Christie opted to cut the state’s pension contributions by over $2 billion in 2014 and 2015.
And while lawyers are arguing the case in the courtroom, NJPBA president Patrick Culligan made his case in a letter to members this week, where he accused Christie of using a “bait and switch” to feign pension reform.
From the letter:
We are expecting that the Governor will propose significant further pension and healthcare reductions. We believe that the formal report of the Governor’s Pension Commission will be released very soon to support the Governor’s expected message today.
In the 2012 State of the State, Governor Christie proudly proclaimed ‘we saved their pensions’. He added; ‘Our pension system, which was on a path to insolvency, is now on much more sound footing. With your help, we tackled the problem head on.’ It was a success he shouted on the national stage for years after. He has repeatedly called Chapter 78 his crowning bipartisan achievement.
But his reflections on Chapter 78 mask his own deliberate acts to destroy pensions as we know them. I would like to remind everybody that in 2014 the Governor declared parts of his reforms ‘illegal’ in the State’s own legal briefs responding to our pension lawsuit. The former Federal Prosecutor, the attorney, the Governor who signed that law declared his obligation to make a pension payment to be ‘illegal’ and unenforceable. He also vetoed bipartisan legislation that would have required our additional contributions required by Chapter 78 to actually go back into PFRS where they belong. He has proven time and time again that he wants our system to fail.
This unfortunately is the kind of bait and switch we have come to expect from Governor Christie’s ‘promises’.
Read the full letter here.
Photo By Walter Burns [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons