Donald Trump

Do New Jersey Pensioners Have a Right to Cost of Living Increases? Supreme Court to Hear Arguments

New Jersey's Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether the state's public pensioners have a contractual right to cost of living increases.

The court is set to listen to arguments on Monday, the latest in a long-running fight between the Christie administration and public sector unions over retirement benefits.

Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature agreed to end the pay increases as part of a 2011 deal in which the Republican governor agreed to make payments into the debt-laden pension in return for the cuts.

When state revenues fell below expectations, Christie contributed less to the pension than the law required, angering Democrats and unions. But the cost of living adjustment cuts were not restored.

Last year, Christie won a significant Supreme Court victory when the court held it could not force the governor and Legislature to appropriate money for the pension.

But since then, Democratic leaders in the Legislature have begun to push for a constitutional amendment to require the state to make quarterly pension payments, which Christie opposes.

The court agreed to hear the cost-of-living-adjustments case in July, just as Christie's presidential campaign was getting underway. He has since quit the race and backed front runner Donald Trump.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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