The pension lawsuit against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over lack of payments to the state's pension system has been rebooted.
In early June law firms serving public employees sued Christie challenging his plan to not make $884 million in already approved pension payments to the state's pension system in the fiscal year.
Since about July 23 the law firms have filed amended complaints in Mercer County Superior Court. The same judge that heard the unions' suit in late June, Mary Jacobson, will hear this case.
They are challenging Christie's plan to cut the state's pension payment by $1.57 billion in the current fiscal year.
While Jacobson ruled in favor of the governor's curbing of pension payments in fiscal year 2014, she said a 2011 law that implemented a scheduled ramp-up of the state's pension funding created a contractual right for the money to go to the employee pensions. In ruling in late June that the state could breach this contract for fiscal 2014, she emphasized that the state had limited financial options in the few days that remained of the fiscal year to balance its budget, as is constitutionally required. Fiscal 2014 ended June 30.
"A different analysis could very well be required for fiscal year 2015, which will extend until June 30, 2015, and will provide more time for consideration of viable alternatives depending on economic conditions affecting the state," Jacobson wrote in her decision.