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After New Hampshire trip, Gov. Chris Christie returns for town hall to talk pensions

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HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, New Jersey — Republican Gov. Chris Christie moved his town hall tour back to New Jersey on Thursday after a visit to New Hampshire, returning to his push to promote his proposed budget plan and the need to address the state's pension costs.

Christie held his 135th town hall event at Hasbrouck Heights' town hall.

The town hall included a more than 15-minute exchange with Steve Panagiotou, 47, of Waldwick, who told Christie that he and his wife are worried she won't have a pension when she retires from her job teaching.

PHOTO: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall meeting Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall meeting Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

"You broke the law," Panagiotou told Christie, referring to the governor's plans for the state to make lower contributions than what is outlined in a 2011 law. "You still brag about the law."

Christie told Panagiotou that the state doesn't have the money to make the full payment.

Their long exchange ended with a handshake.

"Steve has a legitimate concern for him and his family," Christie said. "I don't want to blow him off."

Christie held a town hall this week in New Hampshire, on top of a series of meet-and-greets and a major policy speech on entitlement reform. He is considering a run for president in 2016.

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PHOTO: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, addresses a gathering during a town hall meeting Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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