By David Madden

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey legislators are considering a change in the state constitution that would give voters, not the Governor, the power to select the Attorney General.

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The question would have to go to the voters in a referendum. At a senate hearing in Trenton this week, two sponsors had the chance to discuss the idea.

Senator Peter Barnes, an Edison Democrat, says 45 states allow for the popular election of their top prosecutor.

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“It creates checks and balances which is a foundationary principle of our government. So if the Governor does something that might not be the best thing or might be challenging, the Attorney General doesn’t answer to the Governor. The Attorney General answers to his or her own constituency.”

Raymond Lesniak, a Union Democrat, suggests the change would ensure an AG’s decisions are based more on the law than political allegiance.

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The measure has not been acted on at any level and the idea’s been in committee for more than a year.