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Christie testing budget plan at town hall meeting

Local News | Feb 26, 2014

Christie testing budget plan at town hall meeting

LONG HILL, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking his $34.4 billion state budget proposal to a town hall meeting in Morris County.

Christie’s budget plan makes a required $2.25 billion pension payment without raising taxes. But there’s virtually no money left over for major new initiatives.

The possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate blames what he claims are exploding public worker retiree costs and debt obligations for the shortfall.

Public workers have been a target of Christie’s before. He helped cement his national reputation by enacting pension changes that require workers to pay more for benefits and suspended cost-of-living increases for workers who already retired.

Christie says 94 percent of the state’s revenue growth will be eaten up by pension, health care and debt obligations.

Wednesday’s town hall meeting is in Stirling.