Legislature OKs Ballot Questions to Fund Pensions, Transportation; Senate Approves Casino Expansion Proposal

The Legislature wrapped up the session on Monday by approving ballot questions asking voters to dedicate additional funds to transportation projects and require the state to make full pension payments. The Senate also OK’d a ballot question allowing the expansion of casino gaming. The Assembly is set to vote on the question in the next session, which starts Tuesday.

Here is a rundown of legislative activity:

Pension Funding (SCR-184). Voters would be asked to approve a measure ensuring full pension funding, ending a history of skipped or partial payments that dates back 15 budget cycles and has left the system tens of billions of dollars short of its liabilities.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO fully supports this ballot measure to ensure that the state meets its obligations to 800,000 active and retired pensioners. Additionally, the measure would require that the state meet its obligation in quarterly installments, which would generate untold millions in additional investment returns, rather than paying in a lump sum on the last day of the fiscal year.

The party-line vote in the Senate was 23-16. In the Assembly, the vote was 43-27 with one abstention.

To see how your legislators voted, CLICK HERE.

Motor Fuel Tax Dedication (ACR-1). Voters would be asked to amend the constitution to dedicate more money to the Transportation Trust Fund without raising the 10.5-cent gas tax or the 13.5-cent tax on diesel fuels. The amendment asks voters to dedicate all revenues from the motor fuels and petroleum products gross receipts tax to fund the state’s transportation needs. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO supported the resolution.

The vote in the Senate was 36-1, with Sen. Christopher Connors (R-9) voting no. The Assembly vote was unanimous.

Casino Expansion. The Senate approved a casino expansion proposal (SCR-185) sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) and Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) by a vote of 33-6.

To see how your senator voted, CLICK HERE.

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