- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Assembly has become the first chamber to approve legislation that extends the cap on arbitration awards to police and firefighters.

Lawmakers voted for the bill Monday after Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced a bipartisan compromise that extends the 2 percent cap through 2017. But it allows arbitration awards to be compounded in subsequent contract years.

Prieto hailed the compromise for protecting taxpayers while rewarding first responders for their service.

The Senate will consider the bill Thursday.

Prieto says the governor’s office agreed to the negotiated bill. Talks began after the Legislature sent Gov. Chris Christie an arbitration cap extension bill that he conditionally vetoed.

The Senate went along with Christie’s changes, but Prieto refused to post it for a vote.

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