New Jersey voters will see two statewide ballot questions when they cast their votes in the Nov. 4 election. This is what the questions will look like on the ballot.
BALLOT QUESTION 1:
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ALLOW A COURT TO ORDER PRETRIAL DETENTION OF A PERSON IN A CRIMINAL CASE
Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow a court to order pretrial detention of a person in a criminal case?
This would change the current constitutional right to bail. The change to the Constitution would mean that a court could order that a person remain in jail prior to trial, even without a chance for the person to post bail, in some situations.
The amendment also removes language in the Constitution about bail eligibility for death penalty cases. The death penalty no longer exists in New Jersey.
The Constitution currently requires a court to grant bail to a jailed person in a criminal case before trial. If the person posts bail, the person is released from jail pending trial. The amendment would give a court the option of ordering a person to remain in jail in some situations.
The court could order such detention based upon concerns that the person, if released: will not return to court; is a threat to the safety of another person or the community; or will obstruct or attempt to obstruct the criminal justice process.
The amendment authorizes the Legislature to pass laws concerning pretrial release and pretrial detention. The amendment would take effect on January 1, 2017 to allow any new laws to be enacted and their requirements to be established.
The amendment would also remove language in the Constitution about bail eligibility for death penalty cases. The death penalty no longer exists in New Jersey.
BALLOT QUESTION 2:
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT DEDICATING STATE FUNDS FOR OPEN SPACE, FARMLAND, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION, AND CHANGING EXISTING DEDICATION FOR WATER PROGRAMS, UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS, AND HAZARDOUS SITE CLEANUPS
Do you approve amending the Constitution to dedicate certain State revenues each year for environmental programs?
The Constitution now dedicates four percent of the money collected from the Corporation Business Tax to help pay for some environmental programs. This amendment raises the amount from four percent to six percent beginning on July 1, 2019.
The amendment also changes, beginning July 1, 2015, some of the programs funded by the current dedication. The new dedication would be used mostly to preserve and steward open space, farmland, historic sites, and flood-prone areas. Funds would also be used to improve water quality, remove and clean up underground tanks, and clean up polluted sites. Lastly, the amendment dedicates money received from leases and other uses of State open space lands to pay for open space, farmland, and historic preservation.
This amendment would ensure stable funding for some of the State’s environmental programs.
The Constitution now dedicates four percent of the money collected from the Corporation Business Tax to help pay for some environmental programs. This amendment raises the amount from four percent to six percent beginning on July 1, 2019. It also changes the amounts allocated to some of the programs funded by the existing dedication beginning on July 1, 2015.
The money from the new dedication would be used: (1) to preserve and care for open space (Green Acres), farmland, historic sites, and flood-prone areas (Blue Acres); (2) to improve water quality; (3) to pay for polluted site cleanups; and (4) for underground tank removal and cleanup.
Lastly, the amendment requires that money received from leases and certain other uses of State-owned preserved open space be used to pay for open space, farmland, and historic preservation.
The current dedication of Corporation Business Tax revenue helps pay for water quality programs, polluted site cleanups, underground tank removal and cleanup, air pollution equipment for diesel engines, and improvements to parks.
Under the State’s open space preservation programs, known as Green Acres and Blue Acres, land is bought to protect water supplies, create and maintain parks and fish and wildlife areas, and protect flood-prone areas. The Green Acres program also helps pay for improvements to parks.