NJ voters approve raising judges’ benefits costs
New Jersey voters have approved a ballot question forcing judges and state Supreme Court justices to pay more for retirement and health benefits.
Voters easily approved the constitutional change that allows a 2011 law requiring higher benefits contributions from public workers to apply to those on the bench.
A Hudson County judge who sued to block the law argued successfully that higher pension and medical costs amounted to a salary cut, which had been illegal under the constitution.
The provision was meant to shield judges and justices from retribution by lawmakers after potentially unfavorable rulings.
The law raised judges’ pension contributions from 3 percent of their salary to 12 percent by 2017.
That’s nearly $ 15,000 more for a typical judge who earns $ 165,000.
NJ voters approve borrowing for college projects
New Jersey voters have approved allowing the state to borrow $ 750 million to pay for new and expanded academic buildings for colleges and universities.
The bond referendum had the backing of prominent Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Chris Christie.
No formal campaign against it developed, but some critics said that a state already some $ 33 billion in debt should not borrow more for any purpose.
Schools that receive the money must spend of their own for every they get from the state.
The biggest portion of the money is to go to the state’s research universities. But smaller state colleges, county colleges and private schools except Princeton University are also eligible.