New Jerseyans vote ‘yes’ on 2 public questions

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EDISON -

New Jersey voters said “yes” on Election Day to two public questions posed on their ballots.

Voters on Tuesday approved a ballot question about authorizing state officials to borrow up to $125 million for library construction projects across the state.

Legislative sponsors of the referendum said 78 percent of libraries across the state are in need of repair.

The bond approval means proceeds from the sale of debt will be used to give grants to public libraries across the state.

The public question voters considered said the money will go to build, equip and expand libraries to increase capacity.

The bond approval contrasts with Republican Gov. Chris Christie's $300 million statehouse renovation, which voters were not asked to consider.

New Jersey voters also approved a question that asked whether they want to use all the money from natural resources damages to "repair, restore, replace or preserve" the state's natural resources.

Lawmakers and supporters of the legislation said it creates a constitutional dedication for the funds that would prevent future governors and lawmakers from using damages for other purposes.

The issue gained traction after Christie's administration settled a lawsuit with ExxonMobil for $225 million. The settlement came after more than a decade of litigation involving petroleum plants in Bayonne and Linden and gas stations across the state.

The Associated Press news wire service contributed to this report.

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