NJ voters asked to raise judges' benefits costs

NJ voters being asked to require judges, justices to pay more for pension, health benefits

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey voters are deciding whether to override the state Supreme Court and force judges and justices to pay more for their pensions and health care coverage.

One of two public questions on state ballots Tuesday asks voters to amend the constitution so a 2011 law requiring higher benefits contributions from public workers can be applied to judges.

A Hudson County judge who sued to stop the law argued successfully that higher pension and medical contributions amounted to an illegal salary cut.

The constitution prohibits judges' salaries from being reduced while they are serving.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature support changing the constitution so judges are no longer exempt from the law.

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