Lukewarm support for changing N.J. Constitution

With nothing in its rainy day fund and a budget surplus of just 2 percent, New Jersey is ill prepared for the next financial crisis, according to new analyses. (AP Photo)

With nothing in its rainy day fund and a budget surplus of just 2 percent, New Jersey is ill prepared for the next financial crisis, according to new analyses. (AP Photo)

Two proposals to amend New Jersey’s constitution will be on November’s ballot.

If the election were held today, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll finds one of the amendments would be defeated and the other would pass by a slim margin.

Poll director Krista Jenkins said 35 percent of voters favor a proposed amendment to expand casino gambling to North Jersey while 58 percent oppose it.

“We’ve been tracking attitudes toward this issue for years and allowing more casinos in the state has never been embraced by a majority of voters,” said Jenkins. “Supporters of this amendment will continue to experience an uphill battle convincing voters that casinos beyond Atlantic City are a worthwhile investment in local economies.”

The other proposed amendment would require all gas tax revenue to go to the transportation trust fund that that pays for transportation projects. That one has just lukewarm support from voters — 51 percent support it and 34 percent oppose it, Jenkins said.

“It very well could be in this situation that either people are really not following the issue quite closely, they’re not sure what this amendment would do,” she said. “So, therefore, when they hear about any kind of taxing and revenue they just reflexively say no to it.”

Voter sentiment about both amendments could change by Election Day, said Jenkins, as special interest groups wage ad campaigns.

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