New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie has ordered the state�s police force to make $287,500 in salary and benefits to officers laid off by the federal government, the New York Times reported Friday.
Christie announced the increase Friday morning, citing the state’s recent unemployment rate of 6.4 percent and a record number of jobless workers in the state, which is the second-highest in the country after California.
Christie said the state is already paying for more than two-thirds of its police officers’ health care, including nearly $1.4 million in pay raises.
The state is paying an average of $16,500 a year, Christie said.
He did not specify how much of that would go toward paying police officers, but said the additional money would help the state stay competitive.
The governor said the increase would allow the state to “create jobs, protect the environment, and keep our families safe.”
The state has seen a steep drop in the number of police officers since Christie took office in 2014.
The New York Post reported last month that Christie was poised to announce a new $1 million fund to pay police officers after a judge ruled that the state could not afford the extra compensation.
Christie is one of two Republican governors to be sued by unions, the first being Republican Gov.
Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, who was fired by the Legislature after it voted to reinstate the governor in 2017.
A lawsuit by the police union is expected to be filed this week.