Author Topic: 2008 Ballot Public Questions  (Read 3589 times)

Offline MA

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #8 on: 11-05-2008, 02:12pm »
From NJ.com:

November 05, 2008 - 01:48PM ET

Question - 1-Voter Bond Approval - Ballot Issue
New Jersey - 6241 of 6296 Precincts Reporting - 99%
NameVotesVote %
Yes
1,159,584
57%
No
863,298
43%


Question - 2-Judicial Appointment - Ballot Issue
New Jersey - 6241 of 6296 Precincts Reporting - 99%
NameVotesVote %
No
1,105,359
55%
Yes
910,740
45%

Offline baldface

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Bloomberg has a good article about the confusing language used to describe the state debt initiative. To sum, pollsters found that when the language was simplified, support for the initiative jumped 30 percent to a full 75 percent. Read it, if you like:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601015&sid=aDbZu6AqplfA

Also, if anyone has to vote at the Grace Church Gym on Erie Street today, be prepared for a heretofore unknown level of incompetence. I was threatened with arrest (and the state police were called) for observing that people were mistakenly being instructed to bypass the District 15 line. It wasn't their fault; some fool was telling people at the back of the two-block line that if their last names fell between A and K, they didn't have to wait. (Completely and utterly wrong, by the way. The only people who jump the line are Dist. 13 and 14 voters.) When I went in to clarify the situation, all of the poll workers claimed ignorance until a man who identified himself as "a challenger" told me that if I didn't return to my place, he was calling the police, which he apparently did. When I asked for his name and position, he told me that he was an election official, that he was supposed to be there and reiterated his threat. The state police showed up a minute later, and one of them came over and stood by me when my girlfriend and I finally made it into the building. Long story long: I voted, but I am disturbed by the complete lack of supervision and accountability at the place. Literally, one sign and a person standing at the entry way would have completely solved the problem. Instead, these so-called "officials" stand around shuffling their feet until they can threaten a person with legitimate process concerns with disenfranchisement. Super.

Offline MA

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #6 on: 11-04-2008, 11:22am »
I don't have it in front of me but Jersey City has a third initiative- should the school board by appointed, or elected.



The thread for the JC school board question is here.

Offline bdlaw

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #5 on: 11-04-2008, 10:36am »
Totally supposition on my part but presumably it is contrary to the state constitution vis a vis how the state may and may not raise revenue.
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Offline Darna

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #4 on: 11-04-2008, 10:31am »
Does anyone know why Question 1 requires a Constitutional amendment rather than statutory mandate?  Why not just change the law rather than amend the Constitution?

Offline bdlaw

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #3 on: 11-04-2008, 10:13am »
I don't have it in front of me but Jersey City has a third initiative- should the school board by appointed, or elected.

Personally, I think Yes, and No, on the first two.  Not sure how I feel about the third though I am leaning toward elected.
Bobblehead: Wow, BMWs, cameras, and anal probes. Are we in Berlin?

[10:33 AM] del ban Woodsy: You do that and I will wash your mouth out with summer's eve after I kick your ass jehu.

Darna: it's because my people spend much of their lives barefoot, so when they discover shoes, it's a party!

RB: i rubbed mine last night to be ready for tonight

Burroughs: Thank you for a country in which no one is free to mind his own business

Offline MA

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Re: 2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #2 on: 11-04-2008, 08:49am »
The Star Ledger sez Yes to both:



Back the amendments
Posted by Star-Ledger editorial board October 28, 2008 10:30PM

Deciding between Barack Obama and John McCain isn't the only choice voters have to make on Tuesday. They'll also pick among candidates for the Senate, House and a slew of local offices. Overlooked in the hubbub are a couple of state constitutional amendments -- one extremely important, the second less so.

Not surprisingly, both constitutional questions are couched in confusing language, requiring voters to parse sentences closely to figure out what they're about.

Question No. 1 deals with the state debt. A quick once-over would lead a voter to believe that a yes vote would give taxpayers control over future state debt. Supporters of the amendment have been pushing that interpretation even though a close reading creates some doubt. The question appears to say that any future state debt must be approved by voters.

The state constitution already has a provision stipulating just that, but previous governors and lawmakers have ignored it. The feeble legal argument was that the state is not obligated to cover debts of independent state agencies. State debt is close to $35 billion, but only $3 billion of that was okayed by voters. The rest was incurred by supposedly independent state agencies, such as the Economic Development Authority, which got approval from the Legislature to issue bonds.

The state Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote, bought that argument. But there isn't a bond buyer on Wall Street who doesn't think that the state will make good on the authority's debt.

Proponents of the constitutional amendment say it will close that loophole. But the proposed amendment comes with a fairly significant exception.

It would allow the Legislature and governor to sidestep voter approval if new borrowing (in the form of bonds) is to be paid with state revenue constitutionally dedicated to a specific purpose. Income tax revenue, for example, is dedicated to "reducing or offsetting property taxes." That tax revenue has been used for the property tax rebate program and for school aid.

So it is possible that lawmakers and a governor could issue bonds to pay for education aid or municipal programs without asking for voter approval.

It's a question that may well end up in court. We pointed out the fuzzy wording back in June, when lawmakers could have fixed it. They didn't. The amendment provides wiggle room, and they like wiggle room. The state's political leaders are deceiving the public when they maintain the amendment would hand taxpayers complete control over debt.

We have strongly backed the right of taxpayers to vote on debt. While the constitutional amendment on the ballot is less than optimal, it is an improvement, and for that reason we recommend a yes vote.

The second question is written in such a convoluted way that it defies comprehension. It involves the appointment of municipal judges whose jurisdiction extends beyond one community. Currently, the constitution requires the governor to appoint those judges and the state Senate to confirm them.

The amendment would eliminate that mandate. Realistically, no municipal court judges get on the bench without the say-so of local political bosses. This amendment would remove the charade that the governor and the Senate do the selection. We're all for acknowledging reality.

Offline TheFang

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2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #1 on: 10-29-2008, 03:09pm »
So what do we think of these?

Question 1: VOTERS TO APPROVE STATE AUTHORITY BONDS PAYABLE FROM STATE APPROPRIATIONS
Do you approve the proposed amendment to the State Constitution which provides that, after this amendment becomes part of the Constitution, a law enacted thereafter that authorizes State debt
created through the sale of bonds by any autonomous public corporate entity, established either as an instrumentality of the State or otherwise exercising public and essential governmental functions,
such as an independent State authority, which debt or liability has a pledge of an annual appropriation as the ways and means to pay the interest of such debt or liability as it falls due and pay and discharge the principal of such debt, will be subject to voter approval, unless the payment of the debt is made subject to appropriations of an independent non-State source of revenue paid
by third persons for the use of the object or work bonded for, or are from a source of State revenue otherwise required to be appropriated pursuant to another provision of the Constitution?

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
This amendment to the State Constitution will require voter approval of new laws that allow the State to borrow money by issuing bonds through any State agency or independent authority backed by a pledge of an annual appropriation to pay the principal and interest on the bonds. New laws to allow the issuance of these State authority bonds for State government purposes will be subject to voter approval. State courts have ruled that the State constitutional requirement that the Legislature and Governor must seek voter approval for bonded debt does not apply to such borrowing. That requirement is followed only for proposed State bonds that contain a binding, non-repealable pledge to pay off the bonds directly with State taxes. Most State authority bonds can be issued without voter approval because the payment of the bonds is backed only by a
promise of the Legislature and the Governor that they will enact appropriations in the future to meet the bond payments. The courts have said this is a legal means of avoiding submitting the issuance of debt for voter approval. Laws to permit such debt that are enacted after this amendment becomes part of the Constitution will have to authorize voter referenda for approval of such debts. Exceptions to voter approval for authority bonds will be permitted if the bonds are to be paid off from 1) a source of revenue dedicated by the State Constitution, which only the voters can establish, or 2) an independent non-State government source of payments for use of projects built or obtained with the borrowed money, such as highway tolls or user fees.

---------------

Question 2: PROVIDES THAT METHOD OF SELECTION AND APPOINTMENT OF CERTAIN MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES BE SET BY STATUTE RATHER BY THE CONSTITUTION.
Shall the amendment to Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, providing that judges of inferior courts with jurisdiction extending to more than one municipality be appointed as provided in law rather than as provided in the Constitution which requires nomination by the Governor and appointment with the advice and consent of the
Senate, be approved?

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
This constitutional amendment would provide that the method of selection and appointment of certain municipal court judges would be set by statute, rather than be provided for in the Constitution. These judges may include judges of joint municipal courts and judges of central municipal courts with jurisdiction extending to the territorial boundaries of a county. This constitutional amendment does not preclude the possibility that a statute would continue to
provide for nomination by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, but it does permit a statute to set forth another method of selection and appointment that may not involve the
Governor and the Senate.
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2008 Ballot Public Questions
« Reply #1 on: 10-29-2008, 03:09pm »