Judge to hear argument over Christie’s pension payment cuts

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Lawyers for Gov. Chris Christie’s administration and unions for public workers are preparing their arguments on whether it was legal for Christie to slash contributions to retirement funds.

Christie had a deal to ramp up payments as workers increased theirs and also had retirement ages raised.

But Christie last year said that after a surprise shortfall in state revenue that the state could not afford payments to catch up on contributions missed in the past.

Judge Mary Jacobson ruled last year that the measure was appropriate for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. But the judge said she would need to hear more to decide whether the reduced payments for the current year are legal.

Unions say Christie shouldn’t be allowed to take back a deal he made.