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NJ Senate president: Pension payments must be made



NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Senate president says he’s willing to shut down the state government over pension payments.

Steve Sweeney told the editorial board of The Star Ledger of Newark he’ll do everything he can to ensure the state makes the payments.

The government could be shut down if the budget is at an impasse on July 1.

Gov. Chris Christie suggested during his State of the State address that some money slated for pensions should be spent on schools or police. He’s expected give details in his budget proposal in February.

Under a 2011 pension overhaul, the state’s pension contributions are rising annually. In the current fiscal year, the state is contributing $1.7 billion. It’s scheduled to rise to $2.4 billion in the next fiscal year.