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Governor Christie prepares to sign New Jersey employee benefits bill

Posted on June 28th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

New Jersey government workers are expected to see a hike in contributions to employee benefits as a result of a new bill likely to be signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.

The bill will raise pension and health benefit costs for teachers, police and other public workers by requiring them to pay healthcare premiums based on their incomes, with a coinciding rise in pension contributions.

While the bill has garnered harsh criticism from public sector union leaders, its supporters claim the contribution increases are necessary to make up a $110 billion shortfall in the retirement system. However, opponents counter the number is only that large because the state has failed to make its annual payments.

Regardless, Governor Christie is hailing the bill as his biggest legislative accomplishment, the Connecticut Post writes. The Associated Press concurs, adding that Christie has "already taken victory laps over the weekend, suggesting on national television that Washington could learn from New Jersey's example when it comes to bipartisan cooperation and curbing spending by passing additional benefits costs onto public workers."

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