N.J. voters lean toward making judges pay more for benefits, funding college construction

A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows strong voter support for two measures that will be on next month’s election ballot in the Garden State.


About 70 percent of voters surveyed support a constitutional amendment that would require judges to pay more for their pension and health-care benefits just like other state employees, according to David Redlawsk, poll director.

“Voters are not swayed at all by the argument that judges’ pay is related to judicial independence and therefore ought to be sacrosanct,” he said Friday. “I think voters simply see this as basic fairness issue.”

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Lawmakers voted to put the issue on the ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled benefit reforms approved by the Legislature amounted to an unconstitutional reduction in judges’ salaries.

Voters also will be asked to approve a $750 million bond issue to fund construction of new buildings and technology upgrades at New Jersey public colleges and universities. That has the support of 62 percent of those surveyed, a six-point increase since August.

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