SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials are suing the U.S. Department of Labor for denying billions of dollars in mass transit money to the state after lawmakers approved pension reforms.

Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced the lawsuit Friday, saying he wants to defend last year's law requiring state employees to contribute more to their pensions to ensure the retirement system remains viable.

Federal labor officials determined the changes violate collective bargaining rights by forcing union members to pay more. The agency blocked at least $1.6 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation grants to California.

The state's lawsuit calls the decision "arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional."

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