New Jersey Wage Assessment Amendment, Public Question 1 (2010)
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
|New Jersey Question 1 (Wage Assessment)|
Text of measure
The official ballot question as follows:
"Shall the amendment to Article VIII, Section II of the State Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, which: prohibits collection by the State of assessments based solely on employee wages and salaries for any purpose other than providing employee benefits; dedicates all employer and employee contributions collected for any employee benefit fund, and all returns on investments of those contributions, to the purpose of that fund; and prohibits any transferring, borrowing, appropriating or using of those contributions or returns for any other purpose, be approved?"
This proposed constitutional amendment prohibits the collection by the State of assessments based on employee wages and salaries for any purpose except paying employee benefits (or making other employee-authorized or federally required payments, in the case of the State’s own employees), dedicates all contributions made to the unemployment compensation fund, the State disability benefits fund, or any other employee benefit fund, and all returns on investments of those contributions, to the purpose of that fund, and prohibits the use of those contributions or returns for any other purpose. The requirements of this proposed amendment do not apply to the gross income tax, which is exclusively dedicated by the state constitution to the purpose of reducing or offsetting local property taxes.
- The measure, according to reports, has the backing of New Jersey State AFL-CIO and the State Policemen's Benevolent Association.
- The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce are also supporters of the measure.
Media editorial positions
- The Asbury Park Press supported the wage assessment amendment. The newspaper supported provisions in the amendment that prohibit raids of employee benefit funds to fix budget shortfalls. The newspaper also said that a yes vote would prevent raids in future state budgets, citing the state's fiscal situation..
- The Bergen Record supported the wage assessment amendment. The newspaper's editorial board supported any measure that prohibited segregated funds from being raided, especially funds that state employees contribute to in order to receive certain benefits. The Record cited research from the League of Women Voters that found over $5.4 billion in fund raids over the last fifteen years. The editorial board said that voter approval of the amendment could stop further raids.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board announced their support for the wage assessment amendment in its October 31, 2010 edition.
- The Press of Atlantic City supported the measure, stating in an editorial, "It is true that tying the hands of lawmakers is usually not a good idea. In this case, though, it is clear that these hands need to be tied very securely to ensure that future benefits - benefits that employers and employees paid for - are there when they are needed. Vote yes."
There was no opposition from newspaper editorial boards.
Path to the ballot
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.
- New Jersey Real-Time News, "N.J. public workers union leaders argue against pension ballot question," March 1, 2010
- New Jersey Division of Elections, "Public Question," accessed October 18, 2010
- New Jersey Legislature, "SCR58," accessed October 18, 2010
- New Jersey Secretary of State-Elections, "2010 General Election"
- New Jersey Secretary of State, "2010 Public Question"
- NJ.com, "Voters to decide if state should be barred from using unemployment funds to plug budget," October 30, 2010
- [Confirmed with NJ ELEC via phone on 11-1-2010]
- [Confirmed via phone with NJ ELEC officials on 11-1-2010]
- Asbury Park Press, "Yes" on ballot question," October 25, 2010
- NorthJersey.com, "The Record: 'Ye' on ballot question," October 31, 2010
- Philadelphia Inquirer, "Inquirer Editorial: It's all up to voters," October 31, 2010
- Press of Atlantic City, "State ballot question / Vote yes," October 28, 2010
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