New Jersey 2014 ballot measures
Two statewide ballot questions were certified for the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot in New Jersey. They were both approved, thereby enacting tighter restrictions on certain pretrial criminal defendants and devoting certain tax revenues to open space preservation.
The 2014 legislative session began on January 14, 2014, and is expected to conclude on January 1, 2016. Article IV of the New Jersey Constitution provides that each legislature constitutes a term of two years split into two annual sessions. Because the constitution also specifies that all business from the first year may be continued into the second, the distinction between the two annual sessions is more ceremonial than actual.
At the end of the second year, all unfinished business expires. At least 156 potential legislatively-referred constitutional amendments were submitted in the 2014 regular session. The state does not allow initiatives or referendums; therefore, measures must be referred by the legislature. The legislature can either qualify measures with supermajority approval of 60 percent in one legislative session or with simple majorities in two successive sessions. In order to be placed on the 2014 ballot, these measures had to be approved by the Assembly and Senate by August 4.
Only two measures met all of the criteria by the deadline. One measure dealt with criminal trials by allowing courts the option of denying bail in criminal cases based on concerns that the person would not return to court, be a threat to the safety of another person or the community or would obstruct or attempt to obstruct the criminal justice if released. The other legislatively-referred constitutional amendment devoted 6 percent of corporate tax revenues to the preservation of open spaces.
- Between 1996 and 2013, an average of two measures appeared annually on the ballot in New Jersey. Therefore, 2014 was an average year, based on the number of certified measures.
- From 1996 to 2014, the number of measures on statewide ballots ranged from one to four.
- Between 1996 and 2014, 33 of 36, or 92 percent, of New Jersey ballot measures were approved by voters.
- Conversely, 3 of 36, or 8 percent, of measures were defeated.
On the ballot
|Public Question No. 1||Criminal Trials||Provides for pretrial detention of certain criminal defendants|
|Public Question No. 2||Environment||Dedicates six percent of corporate business tax revenues to open space preservation|
Not on the ballot
|ACR 11||Marriage||Defines marriage as between one man and one woman, thus effectively terminating same-sex marriage|
|Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment||Hunt & Fish||Establishes the right to hunt, fish, trap and harvest game animals|
|Tax Bill Supermajorities Amendment||Legislature||Requires a three-fifths majority vote in the state legislature for all tax bills|
|Veterans’ Property Tax Amendment||Veterans||Increases the veterans’ property tax deduction; extends deduction to more groups|
|SCR 118||Term Limits||Excludes partial, unexpired terms served by the governor from the two-term limit|
|Voter Approval of Indebtedness Amendment||Bonds||Modifies voter approval requirements for state indebtedness|
|ACR 90||Bonds||Requires voter approval of a dedicated funding source for bonded indebtedness of the transportation system|
|Healthcare Mandates Amendment||Healthcare||Prohibits the state or federal government from mandating individuals obtain healthcare coverage|
|ACR 15||Housing||Clarifies the state is not obligated to to facilitate the availability of housing for all income levels|
|Public Schools Support Amendment||Gov't Finances||Provides for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools|
|Indicted Elected Officials Amendment||Gov't Acc||Suspends elected officials who have been indicted and provide for temporary replacements|
|ACR 24||Civil Rights||Guarantees right of the people to privacy from government intrusion|
|ACR 28||Environment||Dedicates up to $25 million annually from realty transfer fee revenues to the Shore Protection Fund|
|ACR 36 & SCR 54||Direct Democracy||Allows initiative and referendums on fiscal policy|
|ACR 67||Direct Democracy||Creates indirect initiated constitutional amendments , indirect initiated state statutes and veto referendums|
|ACR 37||Transportation||Dedicates excess revenue of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to state transportation system costs|
|ACR 42||Gov't Finances||Requires most state funding for public education to be distributed on a per pupil basis|
|Balanced Budget Amendment||Gov't Finances||Changes the way a balanced state budget is kept|
|Supreme Court Amendment||Judiciary||Amends the state supreme court selection and tenure processes|
|Judicial Retirement Age Amendment||Judiciary||Raises the mandated retirement age for judges and justices|
|SCR 25 & ACR 48||Abortion||Allows legislature to require parental notification for medical treatment relating to pregnancy of a minor|
|ACR 49 & ACR 52||Term Limits||Limits state senators to three successive terms and assembly members to five successive terms|
|ACR 54 & SCR 88||Gov't Finances||Creates surplus revenue funds; amends the process for estimating state revenue|
|ACR 61||Gambling||Dedicates revenues from sports betting to residential placements for persons with developmental disabilities|
|ACR 66||Pension||Requires legislation enhancing public employee benefits to identify a funding source to defray cost of enhancement|
|ACR 70||Gov't Finances||Requires bills with fiscal impacts to identify offsetting revenues/appropriation reductions prior to consideration|
|Appropriations Cap Amendment||Gov't Finances||Sets a cap on increases in annual state appropriations|
|Horse Racetrack Betting Amendment||Gambling||Allows for certain types of betting at horse racetracks; provides for allocation of revenues|
|Revenue Diversion Amendment||Gov't Finances||Prohibits diversion of dedicated state revenue|
|ACR 75 & SCR 11||State Exec||Makes the office of comptroller an elected position and eliminates the office of auditor|
|ACR 77 & SCR 96||Labor||Allows public employees to collectively bargain|
|ACR 78||Recall||Changes recall petition signature requirement to 25 percent of voters at the most recent general election|
|ACR 79||Gov't Finances||Dedicates 1 percent of the Corporation Business Tax revenue annually to fund dredging projects|
|Open Space Amendment||Environment||Dedicates $200 million or 2.4 percent of annual sales and use tax revenue to the preservation of open space|
|ACR 116||Environment||Dedicates revenue from water consumption and diversion user fees for open space preservation|
|Municipal Open Spaces Amendment||Gov't Finances||Requires state to pay municipalities for open spaces|
|SCR 37||Taxes||Reduces local property taxes for some privately-held lands that are permanently preserved as open space|
|Greenhouse Gas Initiative Amendment||Environment||Requires state participation in the Regional Greenhosue Gas Initiative|
|Probation Functions Amendment||Judiciary||Enables a statutory transfer of judiciary probation functions to the State Parole Board|
|ACR 86 & SCR 35||Taxes||Provides a tax exemption for increases in property values due to improvements for disabled access in homes|
|ACR 87 & SCR 18||Taxes||Allows veterans and their spouses to receive homestead rebate amounts similar to those for seniors and disabled|
|ACR 88||Taxes||Limits annual assessment increases for homestead real property|
|Constitutional Convention on Property Taxes||ConCon||Calls for a limited constitutional convention on property taxation and government spending|
|ACR 95||Legislature||Requires state legislatures to serve full-time|
|ACR 96 & SCR 16||Property||Restricts condemnation power on non-blighted property for private economic development purposes|
|ACR 151 & SCR 106||Transportation||Dedicates all revenue derived from the motor fuels taxes to the Transportation Trust Fund|
State of New Jersey
|State executive officer||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Comptroller | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Commissioner of Environmental Protection | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | President of Public Utilities |