Government

Guest Column

One More Trenton Raid?

9e65f220edfe170e1482_IMG_0999.jpg
9e65f220edfe170e1482_IMG_0999.jpg

June is budget month in Trenton; the Governor and state Legislature are seeking to balance the budget in a challenging fiscal situation. Unfortunately, environmental funds top the list of places to find“extra” money to balance the budget.

Just a few months ago, with strong bipartisan support, the state Legislature acted to give voters the opportunity to protect natural resource damages from future diversions by placing a measure on the upcoming November ballot. 

New Jersey’s Natural Resource Damages program requires polluters to go beyond the mandated cleanup costs to pay damages for restoration and compensation for the public loss of use of habitat, species, water and land. If passed, the public question would ensure that funds paid by polluters go to restore impacted communities – not to plug holes in the state budget.

Sign Up for E-News

But before the voters get the chance to protect the funds, the Governor is planning one more really big raid of $175 million in these funds. 

The Governor’s proposal takes the funds from the rotten Exxon Bayway settlement reached last year. This settlement accepted damages for just pennies on the dollar compared to the actual damages resulting from decades of pollution to wetlands in Linden.  To have this drastically reduced sum dumped into the gaping budget hole would add insult to decades of environmental injury.

The state Legislature has the chance to once again protect these funds by striking this proposed diversion from the budget.  

Now is the time to act.

Kelly Mooij is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the New Jersey Audubon

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Kenilworth

Judge Rules in Favor of Open Ballot in UCDC Chair Election: A Win for Nick Scutari

February 21, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ -- Just one day before the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) convention to elect a new County chair, Superior Court Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled in favor of State Senator Nick Scutari, who made the case that UCDC bylaws call for an open ballot.

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, the acting Chair of the party, advocated the use of voting machines when committee members ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

February 20, 2018

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago. Colleen has been a ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Library, Vauxhall

Club Teen: Painting Class

Arts & Entertainment Education

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Fri, February 23, 8:30 AM

Honor Ridge Academy, Clark

Workshop for Parents & Educators: Reducing ...

Education Giving Back

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

February 20, 2018

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...