From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment dedicating gas tax proceeds to transportation projects, locking in more than $1 billion a year in new revenue from the recently enacted 23 cent gas tax.
The referendum passed despite a late revolt against the once-virtually uncontested question that passed the Legislature with just one “no” vote and had the support of Gov. Chris Christie.
On its face, ballot question 2 asked voters to protect the new revenue from future raids, ensuring it goes to road, bridge and mass transit projects. It also protects some existing revenues not already constitutionally dedicated. Less obvious is that it also allows the state to finance $12 billion for transportation.
The state expects to collect $1.16 billion a year from the new gasoline tax, $31.1 million a year from increased taxes on non-motor fuels, and $39.6 million a year from a diesel surcharge.
That dedication will prevent governors or legislatures from diverting the revenues each year, and instead provide a steady stream of revenue to finance an eight-year, $16 billion transportation program that includes $12 billion in borrowing and $500 million a year in pay-as-you-go spending.
From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey voters Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to expand casino gambling to the northern part of the state, meaning Atlantic City will retain its four-decade monopoly on gaming.
The ballot question appears on pace to fail by more than 1.5 million votes, according to projections by the Associated Press — which would make it the largest margin of defeat for any referendum the state has ever seen.
It would shatter the mark set in 1987 when a plan to build a professional baseball stadium at the Meadowlands fell by nearly 500,000 votes.
With 93 precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, the casino question was failing nearly 78 percent to 22 percent.
The referendum, which asked voters to amend the state constitution to allow two casinos to be built at least 72 miles north of Atlantic City, was one of the more unusual ones in New Jersey history.