Christie's Pension Plan Has 'Zero' Chance of Passage, Says Senate President

July 30, 2014

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Gov. Chris Christie's push for new pension cutbacks is part of his strategy to run for president in 2016.

“The end game is to make himself the darling of the national political scene again,” Sweeney said at a Star-Ledger editorial board meeting today.

Sweeney (D-Gloucester) also said there is “zero” chance that legislative Democrats will make a deal with Christie to further cut back pensions for public workers, which they did three years ago.

“He broke his word. He didn’t make the payment,” Sweeney said. “So why would I do anything if he’s not keeping his word?”

Sweeney worked with Christie in 2011 to make cuts to public workers’ pension and health benefits. As part of the deal, the state was required to gradually increase its payments into the system after years of shorting it.

But faced with huge budget shortfalls after years of over-estimating state revenue, Christie filled the holes by skipping more than $2 billion in payments through June of 2015.

Christie has begun touring the state to gin up support for his plan, even though he has not announced exactly what he wants to do . Christie has said he hopes to have the plan in place by the end of the summer, and has suggested it would involve moving new public workers into a 401k-type system instead of pensions.

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