And why shouldn't pensions be funded first? They are nothing more than deferred payment of a worker's salary. Not paying a paying the pension is basically saying "We'll give you $100, $80 now and $20 later, to do x amount of work." Then after the work is done only paying them $80. I can't imagine any other scenario where that would be fair or legal.
I would fully agree with you if state employees were all on a defined contribution plan, but they are on defined benefit plans. It is like more like, we will set aside $20 for your future compensation today, but if you get a bunch of raises, live longer than expected, investments underperform, you are entitled to an automatic retroactive modification to that $20 for work you did years ago. I can't imagine a scenario where a sane person would agree to such terms.