(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a rulingthat let New Jersey Governor Chris Christieskip a $1.6 billion payment to the state's pension funds, rejectingappeals by state workers and their labor unions.

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The appeals argued that New Jersey unconstitutionally reneged ona contractual obligation to make annual payments to thepension fund.

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The New Jersey Supreme Court backed the state and Christie in aruling last year. The justices made no comment, turning away thetwo appeals, along with about 500 other cases, in a list of ordersreleased Monday.

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While the decision is a victory for Christie, the retirementsystem is still facing an $83 billion shortfall.

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Democrats who control the legislature are pushing for a ballotmeasure that would require the state to pay what it owes each yearto end a bipartisan tradition of shortchanging pensions. Christiehas called the measure a “road to ruin.”

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The measure promises to add billions of dollars in spending tothe budget of New Jersey, whose credit rating has been cut to thesecond lowest among U.S. states because of the retirement system'sstrains.

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Read: 10 worst states to retire in2016

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Over the past decade, New Jersey paid about $24 billion lessthan it should have into the funds, freeing up cash to close budgetshortfalls, spend or ease taxes, according to data compiled byBloomberg.

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New Jersey has seven plans for workers, teachers, and emergencypersonnel. The primary plan, the Public Employees' RetirementSystem, may run out of money by 2024.

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The cases are Burgos v. New Jersey, 15-293, and New JerseyEducation Association v. New Jersey, 15-302.

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