Clock ticking on New Jersey pension amendment deadline for Democrats

New Jersey Democrats return from the presidential convention facing a deadline to pass a proposed constitutional amendment requiring the state make quarterly pension payments.

The proposal, which must be passed by the state Senate by Thursday in order to appear on this November’s ballot for New Jersey voters to consider, has stalled as legislators hash out how to pay for the state’s road and bridge work.

The proposed amendment amounts to a promise to public-sector unions to ensure the state would meet its public pension obligations after Republican Gov. Chris Christie reneged on a 2011 law requiring specified payments.

The issue carries enormous political weight because the amendment is backed by the state’s powerful unions, including the New Jersey Education Association.

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