TRENTON — Taking action on a series of legislation today, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have required more money coming from environmental damage lawsuits be earmarked for the costs of remediation and restoration of contaminated sites.
Sponsored by state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), the S-2791/A-4281 would have amended the Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 to allocate one-half of all environmental damage recoveries above $50 million to the costs of remediation, restoration, and cleanup of natural resource damage. Sarlo told PolitickerNJ earlier this year that the bill was written in response to the state’s recent controversail decision to settle with Exxon Mobil over a series of environmental damage lawsuits for $225 million.
“The protection and preservation of the ecological wonders of which New Jersey is so proud have always been critical considerations when weighing where New Jersey’s limited budget dollars should be delivered, but there are always challenging decisions that must be made when balancing a complex State budget,” said Christie said in his veto message. “The allocation determined as part of the collaborative State budget process strikes an appropriate balance between the environmental and fiscal needs of the citizens of New Jersey, and goes as far as possible to continue the restoration of the natural spaces and waterways our citizens enjoy.”
Earlier today, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee held a bill introduced by state Senator Bob Smith (D-19) that would put a constitutional amendment question on the ballot this year asking voters whether they support a resolution to ensure that 100 percent of money recovered through natural resource damage settlements be used for similar environmental ends.
Christie also took action on the following legislation:
S-1521/A-2618 (Weinberg/Johnson) – Requires DOC to transfer certain payments of restitution to Victims of Crime Compensation Office
S-1677/A-3528 (Oroho, Van Drew/Andrzejczak) – Permits DCA to nominate a municipality as a qualified municipality for purposes of NJ Redevelopment Authority program participation
S-2321/A-3582 (O’Toole, Sarlo/Russo, Rumana) – Designates State Highway Route 17 in Waldwick Borough as “Christopher Goodell Memorial Highway”
S-2656/A-4042 (Oroho, Pennacchio/Space, Caputo, Carroll, Rumana, A.M. Bucco, DeCroce) – Designates State Highway Route 15 in Sussex County as “Senator Robert E. Littell Memorial Highway”
SJR-12/AJR-13 (Bateman, Vitale/Simon, Ciattrarelli, DiMaio, Peterson) – Designates third full week in March as “Horticultural Therapy Week”
ACS for A-2481/SCS for S-2106 (Diegnan, Mainor, Lampitt, Singleton, S. Kean/Barnes, Oroho) – Provides remedies for certain fraudulent financing statements
A-3579/S-2433 (Moriarty, Benson, O’Scanlon, Schepisi/Madden, Beach) – Limits access to data recorded by motor vehicle recording devices
S-394/A-4246 (Sacco/Jimenez, Moriarty) – CONDITIONAL – Prohibits purchaser of used motor vehicle from waiving dealer’s obligation regarding emissions control equipment
S-2166/AS for A-1586 (Lesniak/Spencer) – ABSOLUTE – “Comprehensive Regulated Grease Recycling Act”
S-2791/A-4281 (Sarlo/McKeon, Schaer, Prieto, Quijano, Wimberly, Caride) – ABSOLUTE – Amends Fiscal Year 2015 budget to provide one-half of certain environmental damage amounts recovered are appropriated for costs of remediation, restoration, and clean up
A-939/S-1403 (Singleton, Schaer, Benson, Eustace, Mosquera/Greenstein) –CONDITIONAL – Enhances the reporting and disclosure requirements concerning State tax expenditures and limits the duration of new State tax expenditure enactments
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