A state court has ruled that an arbitrator cannot force New Jersey taxpayers to pay for raises he awarded to firefighters in Camden.

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The three-judge panel on Tuesday threw out a 2010 arbitrator's award that gave Camden firefighters raises totaling 8.5 percent from 2009 through last year.

Most of the city's revenue comes from state aid. The arbitrator acknowledged that while the city could not afford to give the first-responders raises on its own, the state should pay for them.

State aid to the city has been cut in recent years. In 2011, the city laid off about one-third of its firefighters. The laid off workers have been brought back since then.


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