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N.J. bars use of workers comp funds to balance budget

TRENTON, N.J.—Voters have approved amending New Jersey’s Constitution to prohibit lawmakers from balancing the state’s budget by using funds that provide worker benefits, including the state’s Second Injury Fund.

The Second Injury Fund provides payments to workers who are already partially disabled and then experience a subsequent work-related injury, according to New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

States established second injury funds to encourage companies to hire disabled workers by limiting employers’ liability to payments applying only to a worker’s latest injury.

Official poll results on the New Jersey constitutional question were not available on Wednesday, but observers said it won in Tuesday’s voting with 81% of the vote.

The measure also prohibits lawmakers from tapping worker unemployment insurance funds to balance the state budget.

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