TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie (D-N.J.) is calling on lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment that would force state judges to contribute more towards their pension funds. The governor says it's "outrageous" to exempt the states' 432 judges from contributing more when about 500,000 state employees were recently ordered to do so.
State Judge Linda Feinberg yesterday ruled that judges should not have to contribute more to their retirement because the state constitution says judges' salaries cannot be decreased. She ruled that higher contributions would equal a pay cut. Christie blasted Feinberg over the ruling, calling it "extraordinary self-interest" and "morally indefensible." The pension plan that took effect in July requires higher retirement contributions from all employees. Before the changes, judges paid the least amount while police and firefighters paid the highest, 8.5 percent.Gov. Christie signs pension and benefits bill