|The Pathmark in the Home Depot Shopping Center in Hackensack closed in April 2011 and hasn't been replaced. That means tenants of an apartment complex next door have to get into their cars to go food shopping.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The pension "reform" Governor Christie signed into law in 2011 was declared unconstitutional today by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The Record, especially political Columnist Charles Stile, has invoked that law repeatedly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election as showing Christie's so-called bipartisanship.
But the high court ruled that progressively higher payments into the strapped pension system for seven years violated the constitution by creating new long-term debt, North Jersey.com reports.
"In New Jersey, voters must approve new debts by referendum," Associate Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote for the majority.
The GOP bully has balanced his last two budgets by cutting $2.4 billion from pension funding he had promised, and vows to reduce a $3.1 billion payment to $1.3 billion in the coming budget, which must be signed July 1, The Record's Web site reports.
But voters are certain to stop Christie from doing so next year, if the Democratic-controlled state Legislature succeeds in getting a proposal for guaranteed pension funding on the ballot.
The New Jersey pension system represents 770,000 public workers and retirees, including teachers.
To balance his budgets, Christie has repeatedly used cuts in pension payments, health services for women and other middle- and working-class programs.
At the same time, he has repeatedly vetoed a tax surcharge on millionaires, refused to raise the low gasoline tax and grabbed mass transit funds to fix roads and bridges.
In short, Christie is the worst New Jersey governor in history, and experts say he doesn't have a ghost of a chance at getting the GOP presidential nomination, if he decides to seek it.