Breaking News: Court Rules Christie Must Pay

Hours before a budget address New Jersey governor Chris Christie must now address the issue of where he is going to find another $1.6 billion according to a report of a ruling released today:

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said New Jersey could not renege on its obligations to teachers, firefighters and police who sued the governor and state legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.

“The court cannot allow the State to ‘simply walk away from its financial obligations,’ especially when those obligations were the State’s own creation,” Jacobson wrote.

The decision will be appealed and either reversed or affirmed but late enough so the state will again cry emergency, which nobody can argue against.

Here is the order and here is the decision, both uploaded today.

52 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jitters on February 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    He must have gotten word of the decision early as he has been calling for compromise. Let’s see what a real leader does now. Punting is not an option. If you put four people from this forum in a room with John for three hours I am sure they could come up with a better plan than anything our current government can. Christie will try to keep things tied up in court until he parachutes to Fox News and the democrats seem content to watch him twist in the wind. Sad.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Just imagine the damage CC could inflict on America as President, nightmare at 1600.

    Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 10:05 pm

        Christie is fighting against his own reform. Christie is in essence admitting his reform was a huge failure. Or else he is just corrupt. I wonder which one it is? And TL has never had any credibility to lose.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 11:08 pm

          You define failure different than I. All of the past governors were failures for refusing to to even acknowledge the rapidly escalating problem.

          At least Gov. Christie recognized it, and has attempted to address this REALLY REALLY big problem, but with the Unions and the Democratic Legislature (they have bought off) standing in the way of even modest reforms.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

            at least, a phrase which shows absolutely no empathy for anyone. at least.

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 12:08 am

            When you are in your second term facing a 7billion dollar shortfall even before the budget is introduced the idea of failure has to be present. He thought he could bully the unions and legislature, now he wants to compromise. TO you haven’t shown proof of corruption on the part of employee unions and elected officials but there is documented evidence of the corruption and failures of the Christie Administration. He would do us all a favor and resign.

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 12:15 am

            TL

          • Posted by truthnolie on February 24, 2015 at 12:27 am

            And….don’t forget, mentioned right in the ruling, the state is responsible for reimbursing all legal fees to the unions/plaintiffs.

            Bang up job your Chubby Cherub is doing for the taxpayers….costing even more money in the long run rather than just fulfilling what was required.

            Scorecard:

            1. Lost on COLA
            2. Lost on pension payments
            3. Lost Presidency (soon to come)

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 11:47 pm

          What his counsel told the judge was the pension reform legislation was unconstitutional from the gate.

          Reply

          • Posted by truthnolie on February 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

            You don’t think Fatso knew that from the beginning??

            I can see him with his hooves up snacking on a bucket of Crisco when the “law” was first introduced all the while him knowing it would never pass legal muster…..he knew it and his counsel knew it but he figured “what the hell….let’s make false agreements we know we’ll never live up to (and which are unconstitutional anyway) and make it look like we accomplished something so I can feed my ego and heighten my demagogue status”

      • Posted by Charles on February 24, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        The real problem is government spending money on high speed rail, welfare and pet projects instead of legally required pensions.

        Reply

        • Posted by Metaphysical on February 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

          These are only “legally required” due to what should be illegal public unions and their extortion. Unions do NOT belong in government. Not now, not ever. Even FDR stated to this effect. They are fine in the private sector, but ill suited to government, who does not offer a product/service the public is free to reject and compels all to buy under pain of property confiscation or imprisonment.

          Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Christie should maintain the very accurate stance that the ROOT CAUSE of the problem is NOT a “funding” issue, but the grossly excessive pension and benefit promises …. unnecessary to attract and retain a qualified workforce, ALWAYS multiples greater in value at retirement than the pensions/benefits granted similarly situated Private Sector workers, and grossly unfair to the taxpayers, with 80-90% of total Plan costs foisted upon the Taxpayers who get SOOOO much less.

    Gov. Christie,…REFUSE to consider even minor tax increases until the FUTURE Service pension accruals of all CURRENT Public Sector workers are reduced by AT LEAST 50% (and a greater reduction for police, with the MOST egregious pensions) …. STILL leaving them much greater than those typically granted their Private Sector counterparts. Refuse to fund it !

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      TL you have your head deep in the sand. Where on earth do you thing the state will get the money to fund even 50 percent. you are a real dreamer! Thinking that will solve your problem. Your taxes are going up up up regardless of what pensions do. Why dont you understand that? or are you in denial. You are going to lose your fortune while you are still alive.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm

        If future service accruals were reduced by 50% (and retire healthcare were EQUAL to employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits typically granted Private Sector workers …. essentially NOTHING) we MIGHT have a chance of paying off the HUGE accrued pension liability over 30 years.

        Are you suggesting not trying is the better option…… or are you still praying for 100% via a Federal Bailout (that will NEVER happen)?
        ——————————————————–

        Anyone at risk of “losing their fortune” to NJ taxes will leave NJ in short order. There are no walls at the exit door.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

          foolish woman! your fortune will be lost in every state not just NJ, havent you been paying attention the national debt. there goes those trusty blinders again

          Reply

      • Posted by Metaphysical on February 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm

        Not sure you thought this through. Taxes in socialist nanny states like NJ, NY, MA & CT are already off the chart too high. FL just passed New Yorkistan in population.
        What happens when people rebel & refuse to pay egregious taxes so their publicly employed neighbors can “retire” in darned near luxury & with full healthcare for life? Over taxed people WILL continue to leave.

        Then what will you do?

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Ain’t happening TL. Newbies will be in a 457b. Outside of that the law is on the unions side.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm

        W/o very material reductions for the future Service of CURRENT workers (or perhaps a complete elimination of all retiree healthcare benefits) nothing else will work.

        The problem (the asset shortfall) is simply too big.

        Reply

    • Posted by Charles on February 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Private retirement is less because of robbery by private sector employers. Admit it TL.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm

        85% of all workers work in the PRIVATE Sector …… meaning that it is THAT Sector that sets “market rate compensation”, NOT the “PUBLIC” Sector with 15% of all workers, and compensation distorted via Public Sector Union/Politician collusion.

        Reply

  4. Posted by Tough Love for Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Hey TL,
    Told you this day would come. Looks like a contract does matter after all. Regardless of your fae cynicism about not being represented while negotiations over past contracts happened and you were okay with them at the time. You even received money back from the state. Vent your anger at your elected reps who spent the money that they were supposed to be saving. You were okay with the contracts then. Now when the bill is due, you cry foul. What is logical is that contracts need to be done at a county level so a state wide org can’t bring undue influence locally. BUT, a contract is a contract. As good for you as me, as the public servants who already gave you and I their service. Yeah yeah, the state will appeal…and lose. The state is going to take it on the chin on the COLAs as well. I know that you think his good while it will hasten the funds demise. Unfortunately, this is all happening now, with more than enough time 10 years! Until the funds start depleting. Prior to 2011 constitution only provided for a pension, the 2011 law made the amounts contractual…thank your guv. State will curtail health benefits while they have no funding set aside for those benefits. Cry Greece. Cry moral bankruptcy. Go cry to Ms. Rand (you and jvc gold, lol) hey john, it reflects terribly on this blog that you took down your story ratings after my last post. I wish your site even pretended to be anything more than a Sounding chamber for a very narrow interpretation of one of the most important issues of our time. Let’s all work for nothing and chain the republic to the sins of plutocracy. I can’t wish your site well. It’s 3 steps away from Drudge’s narrow view of the world.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      While I don’t see Christie paying, if forced to, it will likely result in massive Public Sector worker layoffs.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 12:33 am

        Layoffs in public sector employment is a given, but not honoring the pension rights guaranteed by the State constitution is a travesty. The Affordable Care Act will help with the unfunded healthcare issue. CC because of his partisan activities didn’t setup the exchange now there will be no choice.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2015 at 1:26 am

          No, the “travesty” was that by granting these grossly excessive pensions & benefits, our self-interested, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials (over several decades) succumb to the desire for Union campaign contributions and election support, and abrogated their primary responsibly (and allegiance) to ALL of NJ’s Taxpayers, NOT just to the Public Sector workers.

          WE are ONLY in the mess because they granted pensions & benefit FAR greater than necessary, just, affordable, or fair to NJ’s Taxpayers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 11:22 am

            TL, NJ laws govern pensions so where is your proof about collusion between elected officials and unions? I blame the past well paid union executives for not seeking a viable solution with the legislature to the unpaid health premium matter. The State constitution does not protect employee health benefits so they will be reformed. Public employees contracts are collectively bargained again TL where is your evidence that collusion took place between employer representatives and union representatives at the negotiation table? The union’s decide how to spend member dues not the Governor’s office. There are laws regarding unions and employers. Obviously TL you know nothing about employment laws governing unionized public workplaces.

  5. I would say this move is very positive for the Midwest and southeast states. As right to work bills roll through the Midwest, Wisconsin tomorrow or Wednesday, who’s going stick around the northeast to pay bills for services rendered years ago? Especially, new workers who have the plan closed in front of them.

    If you are not in financial services or a public worker, get out now. There is nothing left for you.

    Reply

  6. So, this $1.6 billion is out of how large a budget?

    Reply

  7. Posted by Javagold on February 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Ok. Lay off 33 % of the public takers. Then Make the other 66% public takers pay for all their health benefits.

    Reply

    • Posted by truthnolie on February 24, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Sing with me, sing it for the year
      Sing for the laughter and sing for the tear
      Sing with me, if it’s just for today
      Maybe tomorrow good Lord will take you away
      Dream on, dream on, dream on,
      Dream yourself a dream come true
      Dream on, dream on, dream on,
      Dream until your dreams come true

      Reply

  8. Posted by Javagold on February 24, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Doesn’t the Fat Man also owe homestead rebate checks to homeowners he took it away from last budget next month ??

    Reply

  9. Posted by truthnolie on February 24, 2015 at 1:11 am

    This is too good not to post a snippet here:

    “Governor Christie electrified a private, corporate gathering in June 2011 by boasting of the bipartisan reforms that he said would save New Jersey’s pension system from bankruptcy.

    “And I will tell you that something, that I think is truly historic, happened in New Jersey, and something that will be a model for the rest of the country,” Christie said during that Colorado meeting.

    The guests, invited by libertarian industrialist David Koch, erupted with applause, whistles and a “wow.”

    Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson was not applauding on Monday. Instead, she dealt a stinging, 130-page rebuke of Christie’s version of history, casting him as the author of “empty promises” who reneged on the very landmark deal that he once bragged about “with great national fanfare.”

    Jacobson not only ruled that Christie violated the law when he cut $1.57 billion in last year’s scheduled payment to New Jersey’s public employee pension system, but she delivered a black eye to Christie’s carefully scripted image as a tough-talking fiscal leader with the grit and gumption to tackle big things.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-pension-ruling-a-black-eye-when-some-good-pr-was-needed-1.1276690

    HAHAHA!!! LOVE IT!!!

    Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 9:28 am

    The Governor breaks his pension law that his legal counsel informs the judge is unconstitutional and when she rules to uphold the law and its intent, CC cries ” judicial activism” really!!!! I blame the union executives for lack of activism and oversight. There would not have been a need to spend $ 34 million dollars to fight CC if the union executives had effectively used their political and lobbying power to push solutions to benefit issues. The union executives make as much or more money than the Governor, they need to work harder and should be held accountable for their interactions and the impact. While everyone is at the table fix the unnecessary interference by the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits to the lifetime income payout process for defined contribution participants. Since 2011 there has been a slowdown on lifetime payouts that might be connected to administrative fees paid by providers to the NJ Treasury.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2015 at 11:25 am

      And of course, HALVE the pension accrual rate for the future service of all CURRENT Plan participants, grossly excessive “generosity” being the ROOT CAUSE of the pension mess we are in, and the ONLY real solution.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 2:32 pm

        Stop this dribble, the accrual rate will not be cut.

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        The state’s six dc pension providers will be an active part of the solution. The State needs to exist the pension business like GM. They can also help with group health insurance, I feel confident that the problems will be solved.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

          “Solving” this mess MUST mean (a), (b), or a mixture of (a) & (b):

          (a) Huge tax increases
          (b) Massive reductions in the pension accrual rate for CURRENT workers or virtual elimination of retiree healthcare

          Given the great pain that either of the options insure (and therefore the great resistance by those impacted) how does “Confidence” follow from these choices?

          Reply

  11. Posted by Indyisawesome on February 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Indiana beckons with lower taxes, fiscally solvent government, no pension funding issues, AAA credit rating, more jobs and opportunity, a lower cost of living, better schools, no hurricanes, less corruption, no red light or speed camera’s, more freedom, more success and happiness for your family 🙂
    Come on over to Indiana and stop being sacked by the pension bills that are coming due.

    Reply

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