A bill requiring New Jersey public workers to pay more for pension and health benefits passed the New Jersey Assembly on Thursday evening.
The divisive bill passed by a vote 46-32, as thousands of demonstrators protested outside the statehouse in Trenton. A few Democrats joined all the Republicans present to approve the measure. The legislation, the result of a deal between the Republican governor and the leaders of the Democrat-controlled Legislature, passed the Senate earlier this week.
In a statement, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hailed what he called "bold, bipartisan reforms" that will secure the solvency of the pension and benefit systems while saving taxpayer dollars. He said he would sign the bill on Monday.
Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America, issued a statement calling it "a dark day for workers’ rights," and accusing lawmakers of stripping bargaining rights from, and destroying living standards for, public workers.