TRENTON - Gov. Christie's administration has given formal notice of its intent to appeal a state court ruling that the governor's cuts to state pension system contributions violated the contractual rights of public workers.

The state - which filed the notice with the Appellate Division on Friday - also moved for an extension until March 31 to file a brief.

The intended appeal comes in response to a Superior Court judge's Feb. 23 ruling in favor of public-sector unions that had challenged Christie's cuts to contributions into the public-worker pension system.

In ruling that Christie's cuts to this year's pension payment - from $2.25 billion to $681 million - violated workers' contractual rights, Judge Mary Jacobson ordered Christie to work with lawmakers "to satisfy this constitutional obligation." The fiscal year ends June 30.

The Republican governor reduced the state's contributions to fill a revenue shortfall, reversing course on a 2011 law he signed that required the state to make escalating payments.

Christie said last month that the ruling was the result of "liberal judges getting themselves inserted into decisions that are supposed to be made by elected officials."

Christie, who was addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, dismissed concerns that the pension ruling would cause a budget shortfall. "We'll cut spending if we have to," he said.