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November General Election - State Public Questions

Release Date: October 04, 2007
The following questions will appear on the ballot on November 6, 2007.

STATE PUBLIC QUESTION No. 1
Dedicates Annual Revenue of an Amount Equal to A Tax Rate of 1%
Under the State Sales Tax for Property Tax Reform
Do you approve the amendment of Article VIII, Section I of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, to provide for the annual dedication and annual appropriation of an amount equal to the annual revenue derived from a tax rate of 1% imposed under the New Jersey Sales and Use Tax, exclusively for the purpose of property tax reform, through a special Property Tax Reform Account established in the constitutionally dedicated Property Tax Relief Fund?
INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
This constitutional amendment provides that an amount equal to the annual revenue derived from a tax rate of 1% imposed under the New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Act shall be annually dedicated in a special account in the Property Tax Relief Fund and annually appropriated for property tax reform.


STATE PUBLIC QUESTION No. 2
Stem Cell Research Bond Issue
Shall the "New Jersey Stem Cell Research Bond Act," which authorizes the State to issue bonds in the amount of $450 million for grants to fund "stem cell research projects," as defined in the act, at institutions of higher education and other entities in the State conducting scientific and medical research, and providing the ways and means to pay the interest on the debt and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof, provided that recurring revenues of the State are certified by the State Treasurer to be available in an amount equal to the sum necessary to satisfy the annual debt service obligations related to such bonds, be approved?
INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
Approval of this act would authorize the sale of $450 million in State general obligation bonds to provide grants for stem cell, scientific, and medical research, as defined in the act, at institutions of higher education and other nonprofit and for profit entities in the State conducting scientific
and medical research, provided that recurring revenues of the State are certified by the State Treasurer to be available in an amount equal to the sum necessary to satisfy the annual debt service obligations related to such bonds. Grants would be awarded by the Commission on Science and Technology, subject to evaluation by an independent research review panel
composed of experts in stem cell and related research and by an independent ethics review panel.
If a grant recipient realizes a financial gain or benefit directly associated with the research funded by its grant, the act requires the recipient to make payments to the State in an amount representing a reasonable return on the State's investment, as determined by the State Treasurer. The purpose of providing these funds is to promote research that could benefit State residents afflicted with diseases and severe injuries such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anemia and spinal cord injuries.


STATE PUBLIC QUESTION No. 3
Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond
Act of 2007
Shall the "Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007," which authorizes the State to issue bonds in the amount of $200 million to provide moneys for (1) the acquisition and development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, (2) the preservation of farmland for agricultural or horticultural use and production, (3) the acquisition, for recreation and conservation purposes, of properties in the floodways of the Delaware River, Passaic River, and Raritan River, and their tributaries, that are prone to or have incurred flood or storm damage, and (4) funding historic preservation projects; and providing the ways and means to pay the interest on the debt and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof, be approved?
INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
Approval of this act would authorize $200 million in funding for Green Acres, farmland, Blue Acres, and historic preservation projects through the sale of State general obligation bonds. The Green Acres program preserves open space, including parks, fish and wildlife habitat, flood prone or affected areas, and lands that protect water supplies. It also funds park improvements and facilities. Of the total sum authorized: (1) $109 million will be used for Green Acres; (2) $73 million will be used for farmland preservation purposes; (3) $12 million will be used to fund a new "Blue Acres" program by which the State may purchase from willing sellers, for open space preservation purposes, properties in the Delaware River, Passaic River, and Raritan River basin floodways that are prone to or have incurred flood or storm damage; and (4) $6 million will be used for historic preservation purposes.


STATE PUBLIC QUESTION No. 4
Constitutional Amendment Concerning the Right to Vote for Certain Persons
Shall the amendment of Article II, Section I, paragraph 6 of the Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, revising the current constitutional language concerning denial of the right to vote by deleting the phrase "idiot or insane person" and providing instead that a "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting" shall not enjoy the right of suffrage, be adopted?
INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT
Approval of this amendment concerning the denial of the right to vote would delete the phrase "idiot or insane person" and replace that phrase with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting" in describing those persons who shall be denied the right to vote. The phrase "idiot or insane person" is outdated, vague, offensive to many, and may be subject to misinterpretation. This constitutional amendment acknowledges that individuals with cognitive or emotional disabilities may otherwise be capable of making decisions in the voting booth and that their right of self-determination should be
respected and protected in this regard. The amendment only denies the right of suffrage to those individuals determined by a court, on a case-by-case basis, to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.