October 28, 2010
Re: Constitutional Amendment Ballot Question
You and your residents may have noticed a ballot question on your sample ballots for Election Day, November 2, 2010. The League wanted to provide information to help you and your constituents understand the ballot question.
The League took no official position on SCR60, the legislation that proposed this amendment. SCR60 passed both houses unanimously.
The amendment would require that any money the state collects from employers or employees to provide for benefits, such as the unemployment compensation fund or the paid family leave fund, be used for those purposes.
For example, money is taken out of a NJ worker’s paycheck and placed into a fund to provide for paid family leave. This amendment would prohibit the state from using the money in that fund for any other purpose but paid family leave. It would prevent the state from “raiding” the paid family leave fund to cover a budget shortfall or pay for another program.
Here is a press release from the legislature that provides some more detail:
The bill is specifically designed to combat the willingness in the past under both Democratic and Republican regimes to tap into these funds as a quick and supposedly painless infusion of cash in difficult budget times, allowing them to avoid politically unpopular spending cuts or tax increases. More than $400 million was diverted from the Temporary Disability Insurance Fund from 1995 through 2007. Nearly $4.7 billion has been diverted from the Unemployment Insurance Fund since 1993, forcing employer tax increases and State cash infusions in recent years just to keep the fund solvent and paying out benefits to jobless New Jerseyans.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require further information.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.