TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A credit rating agency says a judge's ruling this week that Gov. Chris Christie and lawmakers must work together to pay more into public-sector pensions is a negative development.

Moody's calls the NJ pension decision a negative development. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Moody's published its opinion in a weekly review on Thursday.

The opinion does not mean the agency is lowering the state's credit rating, but it's a factor the agency weighs in deciding the overall rating.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled Monday that public sector pensioners who sued the state have a contractual right to $1.57 billion in pension payments.

She ruled Christie and lawmakers must work together to pay retirees.

Moody's says the ruling will make it harder for the state to cut pensions in the future, limiting a tool essential to balancing the budget.

Christie has appealed the decision.

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