New Jersey Public Question 3, State Government Mandates on School Districts and Municipalities (1995)

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New Jersey Public Question 3 was on the November 7, 1995 ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Public Question 3 created rules that apply to the New Jersey State Legislature and the executive branch of the New Jersey state government about the extent to which the state government is allowed to impose costly mandates on school districts and municipalities in the state without at the same time providing the school districts and municipalities with the means to pay for the mandated programs.

Question 3 amended Section 2 of Article VIII of the New Jersey Constitution.

Election results

Public Question 3
Approveda Yes 731,131 64.89%

Ballot question

This amendment is intended to prevent the Legislative and Executive branches of state government from forcing local governments and boards of education to implement many new or expanded programs, unless those programs are accompanied by the means to pay for them. It would do this by providing that laws, rules and regulations would cease to exist if those laws, rules and regulations are determined to be unfunded mandates imposed on boards of education, counties and municipalities. The amendment creates a bipartisan Council on Local Mandates that would determine whether a state law, rule or regulation imposes an unfunded mandate on local governments. Any law, rule or regulation which is declared to be an unfunded mandate by the Council would cease to exist and expire. The decisions of the Council shall be final and not subject to judicial review. The amendment would not apply to (1) federally required mandates or entitlement eligibility standards, (2) mandates equally imposed on the public and private sector, (3) reducing mandates or shifting mandates among boards of education, municipalities, or counties that were not previously the responsibility of state government, (4) mandates that address the failure to comply with previously enacted laws, (5) mandates that implement provisions of the state constitution, and (6) mandates imposed by laws passed by 3/4 majority vote of both houses of the legislature after a public hearing at which a fiscal analysis is available.

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