New Jersey Judicial Salary and Benefits Amendment, Public Question 2 (2012)
|Public Question 2|
|Constitution:||New Jersey Constitution|
|Referred by:||New Jersey State Legislature|
- See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
The following are official election results:
|New Jersey Public Question 2 (2012)|
Results via: The North Jersey Secretary of State.
Text of the measure
The following is ballot language that appeared before voters:
|“||Do you approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, as agreed to by the Legislature, to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits||”|
A version of the measure was first proposed following an October 17, 2011 court ruling by Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg. The ruling declared that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's pensions and benefit reforms were "unconstitutional" for members of the judiciary. Feinberg ruled that requiring judges to pay more out of their paychecks amounted to a "diminution of salary." According to the state constitution, judicial salaries cannot be changed during their tenure.
The reforms developed in June 2011 as Christie and state lawmakers worked to tackle the state's $112 billion unfunded liability for pension and health coverage. The reform increased the amount public workers pay.
The lawsuit was filed by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale who argued that the new requirements for increased contributions to pensions violated the state's constitutional provision that judges' compensation cannot be changed during a judge's tenure.
A New Jersey Supreme Court ruling later confirmed the previous ruling in July 2012. As a result, state legislators passed a pension reform proposal to the ballot to let the voters decide on the matter.
- State Senator Shirley Turner stated why this measure was placed on the ballot after the long legal battles, "We’re looking to save the pensions of our judges as well as those retired judges. Let the people decide that we are not diminishing judge’s salaries when we mandate that they be treated like every other employee in this state."
No formal campaign in opposition of the measure was identified by Ballotpedia.
- In a poll released on October 5, 2012, a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll showed that those surveyed favor the measure with 62% approval. The poll was conducted on September 27-30, and had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided||Number polled|
|Sept. 27-30, 2012||Rutgers-Eagleton Poll||70%||18%||12%||790|
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the New Jersey Constitution
In New Jersey, the state legislature must approve a proposed amendment by a supermajority vote of 60% but the same amendment can also qualify for the ballot if successive sessions of the New Jersey State Legislature approve it by a simple majority. Four states (Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) have an either/or system: a proposed amendment must be passed by simple majority in two separate legislative sessions, or by a supermajority vote of one session.
- New Jersey elections, "Public Questions document", Retrieved September 26, 2012
- NJ.com,"Gov. Christie calls for constitutional amendment to cap judicial pay, benefits," October 18, 2011
- CBS Local - Philadelphia, "NJ Lawmakers Seek Constitutional Amendment To Increase Judges’ Pension Contributions", July 27, 2012
- Eagleton Poll, "Rutgers-Eagleton Poll September 27-30, 2012", October 5, 2012