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Pension Funding Fight Nears a Climax in Deficit-Stung New Jersey

  • Move comes after shortchanging funds by $24 billion since 2005
  • Following bond-rating cuts, measure aims to shore up pensions
Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to Majority' conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to Majority' conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg
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The fight in New Jersey over funding government workers’ pensions is coming to a head -- and no one disputes that it’ll be costly to taxpayers.

With the retirement system facing an $83 billion shortfall, Democrats who control the legislature are pushing for a ballot measure that would require the state to pay what it owes each year to end a bipartisan tradition of shortchanging pensions. Governor Chris Chris Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, has called it a “road to ruin.”