The New Jersey General Assembly approved the pension Constitutional Amendment, ACR-109 / SCR-2. June 27, largely along party lines, 50-25-2, with 2 abstentions.
ACR-109 / SCR-2 would amend the state constitution to require responsible quarterly pension payments. The amendment would also establish in the Constitution the right of public employees to pension benefit – allowing employees the right to enforce funding obligations and benefit rights.
The resolution was already approved by both houses of the Legislature during the last session. As such, only a simple majority vote in the Senate is required to put the question before voters. But, that vote needs to happen by August to put the question on the ballot this November. If the resolution passes both houses, it is not subject to a gubernatorial veto and will go on the ballot for voter approval in November.
The proposed amendment advanced over fierce objections from the republican side of the aisle, where lawmakers said the requirements could have draconian consequences if the economy takes a nosedive.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, the primary sponsor of the resolution in the Assembly, said the proposed amendment would erase any uncertainty about whether the state will be able to cover the pensions of nearly 800,000 public employees and retirees who are in the system.
NJPSA supports the legislation, having testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this month.