Seventy-one percent of surveyed voters in New Jersey say they’ll vote in favor of the constitutional amendment that will force the state to contribute to its public pension system, according to a Monmouth University Poll.
However, the poll also indicates that support wanes significantly when taking into account the possible peripheral effects of the amendment — namely, decreased funding for other state services.
“At first glance there appears to be widespread support for constitutionally guaranteeing that the full pension obligation is met in each annual budget,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
“However, it is not clear that voters really comprehend that approving this measure would mean pension payments would automatically take precedence over funding other key services.”
Given the choice, voters said they’d rather fully fund the school aid formula than pensions. A quarter preferred to make the full pension payment, compared with 63 percent who want to fund schools.
Fifty-nine percent would support fully funding roads and bridges, and 30 percent would spend the money on pensions.
The proposed measure — which would amend the New Jersey constitution to require an annual pension contribution from the state — will be on the ballot in November.
New Jersey has a troubled history of making full pension contributions.