TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Senate president is warning that government retirees could see a two-thirds reduction in their pensions in less than 10 years unless lawmakers can fix a $54 billion deficit in the retirement system.

In a meeting with reporters Thursday, Senate President Stephen Sweeney expressed new urgency in fixing the significantly underfunded pension and health insurance systems for government workers and retirees. He said changes that will cost workers more need to happen by June 30, the deadline for passing a state budget and the date the contract expires for 40,000 union state workers.

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