The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether the state can increase judges’

health insurance and pension contributions.

The case stems from a new law passed last summer that requires all public employees to contribute a greater share toward their health care and pension costs.

Shortly after it passed, Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale of Hudson County sued, saying another state law sets judges’ salaries and says they cannot be reduced.

The state Supreme Court fast-tracked the case after lower courts ruled that the state cannot increase judges’ contributions while the case proceeds.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)