Murphy Budget Step in Right Direction, Legislature Needs to Better Support NJT, BPU, DEP
Fiscal Responsibility, Tax Fairness and the Environment Go Hand in Hand
Trenton, NJ -- Clean Water Action's NJ State Director, Amy Goldsmith, released the following statement in response to Governor Murphy's proposed budget released this afternoon.
"Fiscal responsibility is a key component to environmental protection. Funding key environmental and public health safeguards has suffered over years of fiscal irresponsibility and it will take years to undo the damage done. Governor Murphy inherited this mess and his proposed budget is moving New Jersey in the right direction. This budget is demonstrably more fiscally responsible than years past - fewer one shots, over $1 billion in budget cuts, less diversion of dedicated funds and increased tax fairness.
"While some diversions continue and these can't end fast enough, it's good to see NJDEP remain relatively intact and some increased funding for Clean Energy and NJ Transit. However, all these programs require significant additional funding. We call on the Legislature to work with the Governor and public interest advocates to adopt a final budget that's even more fiscally responsible with even more tax fairness and increased funding for Clean Energy, NJ Transit and NJDEP. There are two areas that need additional attention, environmental justice and workforce development in order to expedite a transition to a clean, green, renewable economy.
"As more details become available and the budget process continues, we will flesh out and advocate our position further. At first glance, environmentally related top lines on the budget include:
- $1.1 billion in sustainable savings
- $447 million additional revenue from expanded millionaires tax
- Fewer one shots - 1.7%, Christie averaged 3.4%
- New Office of Climate Resiliency
- $71 million increase for Clean Energy, raids reduced
- $59 million increase for affordable homes, raids ended
- $25 million increase for NJ Transit, raids reduced"
Clean Water Action has more than 150,000 members statewide in New Jersey and is the nation's largest grassroots group focused on water, energy and environmental health. Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. www.cleanwater.org/nj