Gov. Christie Vetoes Bill Turning New Jersey Pensions Over to Unions

May 9, 2017

Balking at what he called a "blank check," Gov. Chris Christie on Monday conditionally vetoed a bill that would have given police and firefighters control over the future of their $26 billion pension fund.

He said he would only allow it if lawmakers enact a series of revisions -- including one to cap sick time payouts that can send workers into retirement with six-figure "golden parachutes."

Those provisions prompted police and firefighter unions to accuse Christie of trying to kill the legislation.

The bill passed with strong bipartisan support over the objections of some who warned spinning off management of the pension fund but not the liabilities put taxpayers at risk.

According to the message accompanying the conditional veto, Christie shared those concerns, saying his proposed changes would shield taxpayers from picking up the tab if the fund goes south.

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