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Christie signs arbitration cap on raises for police, firefighter unions

A cap on raises police and firefighter unions can get in certain contract disputes is now law – again.

The 2-percent limit on raises first became law in 2010 as part of the state’s effort to limit the growth of property taxes. The law expired this year at the end of March.

After weeks of negotiation, a bipartisan bill extending the cap emerged earlier this month. Governor Christie signed it at a ceremony outside the State House today, surrounded by top Democratic and Republican legislative leaders.

“The arbitration cap has worked,” Christie said, citing a slower growth in property taxes in recent years.

“We’re continuing what we started and renewing the bipartisan arbitration cap, which is going to continue to rein in the cost of government and stem the property tax crisis on behalf of New Jersey’s overburdened taxpayers,” said Christie, a Republican.

The cap prevents police or fire unions that settle contract disputes in interest arbitration from winning raises of more than 2 percent. The new law extends that cap until the end of 2017.

The bill passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate earlier this month.

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