New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced a plan Tuesday to freeze his state’s pension plan and replace it with a less costly alternative, a proposal Christie said New Jersey’s teachers union has agreed to in principle.

In his annual budget address Tuesday, Christie called the deal “unprecedented” and lauded it as a “national model.”

“The numbers do not lie, and we don’t need any court to tell us we have a serious problem,” Christie said, acknowledging a court ruling Monday that faulted the state for having failed to fully fund pensions last year. “I have stood behind this podium for five years speaking candidly about this problem. We acted in 2011 to acknowledge and begin to repair this serious problem. We now have a bipartisan reform plan which can, once and for all, fix this problem.”

Christie’s administration said it will appeal the court’s decision, which puts the state on the hook for $1.57 billion that was not funded in 2014, in addition to the funding for this year. An aide to the governor said the appeals process would not affect the pension freeze, and that the decision would be moot if the pension replacement is successful.

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