Joseph Capriglione, WNYC/NJPR
Joseph Capriglione works in the WNYC newsroom as an Associate Producer for New Jersey Public Radio.
Governor Chris Christie says he's considering cutting benefits for the state's younger public workers, but he does not intend to cut pensions for retirees or those close to retirement.
At a town hall on Long Beach Island, Christie, who championed state pension reform legislation in 2011, announced that there would be a "reduction in benefits."
"It has to be," Christie told the audience. "There's no other way to do this. And the state is going to have to step up to the plate and show that they're willing to deal with these issues in a really direct way."
He said that the reforms were necessary to prevent bankruptcy.
Christie was greeted by several dozen union workers who protested his plan to cut out younger workers.
Larry Parker, a retired policeman from Stafford County, said he was concerned about Christie turning pensions “into the bad guy.”
“I can remember when I started on the job I was making $3,400 so it surely wasn’t for the money,” he said, adding that he worked on the force for 47 years. “We’re certainly not here to get something for nothing. … I don’t think any of us want to rob the New Jersey tax payers. We are tax payers. What we’re looking for is just like when I promise to pay somebody something, I have to pay it.”
Christie said he’d present a plan at the end of the summer.