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Holding the Line on Public Salary Cap Hikes [AUDIO]

Gov. Chris Christie is lobbying lawmakers to renew a law that caps arbitration pay increase awards for public sector workers at 2 percent.

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(David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)
Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a town hall meeting in Mount Laurel on March 13, 2014.

The law, passed four years ago, will expire at the end of March unless the State Legislature renews it.

During his latest town hall meeting in Mount Laurel, the governor pointed out the measure — which also limits fees paid to arbitrators and lawyers, and requires the arbitration award process to be sped up — has not yet been voted on by lawmakers.

“We need to put this cap back in place and the legislature has 18 days to do it,” Christie said. “I’ve been meeting with the Democratic leaders of the legislature telling them this has got to get done, the clock is ticking.”

So why hasn’t any action been taken?

“A lot of the public sector unions don’t like the fact that these arbitration awards are capped; they want the salaries to go up as fast as they can, and so there’s a fight now going on,” Christie said. “What they want them to do is go back to the bad old days, go back to the days when arbitrators ordered salary increases that the towns and the counties and the state didn’t have the money to pay for.”

Christie warned if action isn’t taken soon “what it means is we’ve got to come back to you and take more of your money.”

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