Gov. Chris Christie thinks he could can reach a deal with lawmakers to fix the state’s troubled pension system and that State Democratic Lawmakers would be stupid not to do it. Christie also said the next governor is unlikely to tackle the issue after taking office.
“Listen, if we come to an appropriate compromise, Democrats would be stupid not to do it,” Christie said Wednesday night on his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5. “Because it’s not going to be overwhelmingly popular in a lot of sectors, and who would they rather blame it on.”
The state hasn’t fully funded the pension system in decades. Christie and the Legislature agreed to a plan in 2011 that was supposed to fix the system, with payments increasing each year until reaching the full contribution recommended by actuaries. Facing a major budget gap, the governor and lawmakers reneged on the deal. While the state is now on track to reach the full payment by early next decade, it may not be fast enough.