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                                   Environmental Advocates Hail Banner State Budget for the Environment

TRENTON - New Jersey LCV joined environmental advocates from across the state in hailing passage of New Jersey’s state budget — one of the most pro-environment state budgets in recent history.

“The state budget the Legislature is sending to Governor Murphy is a banner moment for the environment,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. “From increases in funding to the Department of Environmental Protection to an NJ Transit funding fix to key investments in open space, Trenton has delivered a budget that will tackle climate change, expand access to the outdoors and protect our air and drinking water. This budget highlights the commitment of legislators and Governor Murphy to building a sustainable future for communities across our state.”

 Major budget wins include:

●      A new corporate transit fee that will secure funding for NJ Transit, helping to keep cars off the road and reducing climate emissions. At the same time, 6% of this funding will be constitutionally dedicated to open space, providing funding for Green Acres, Blue Acres and historic preservation over the next five years — a historic investment in keeping New Jersey green. This agreement was backed by the Fund NJ Transit Coalition, led by the Regional Plan Association.

●      The Legislature has invested $5 million in a Capital park, expanding access to green space in Trenton.

●      Fully funding the Delaware River Basin Commission to ensure the multi-state agency has the resources it needs to protect our drinking water.

●      Allocating $2.8 million to the New Jersey School of Conservation, an $800,000 increase off of last year’s budget, which will enable this international leader in outdoor education to make critically needed improvements to its historic, state-owned campus to better serve children from across the state. This cause was particularly championed by Senate Environment Committee Chairman Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Sen. John McKeon (D-Essex).

 "The corporate transit fee is a major win for transit riders and our environment," said Zoe Baldwin, VP of State Programs for Regional Plan Association. "New Jersey cannot meet its environmental justice or carbon reduction goals without first stabilizing our public transit system. RPA would like to thank the legislature for voting to pass this historic investment."

 “New Jersey's unwavering dedication to maintaining clean, well-managed waters across the Delaware River Basin is evident once again as they pledge full fair-share funding to the Delaware River Basin Commission” said Kelly Knutson, Director for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Since its establishment, the Commission has played a crucial role in conducting research to safeguard clean water, essential for recreation, agriculture, wildlife, and drinking purposes throughout the basin. We thank Governor Murphy and the NJ legislature for providing consistent support, setting a strong example for other states and showcasing their leadership in safeguarding clean water resources.”

The water issues in New Jersey never take a year off, and we are pleased that the Legislature and State have provided funding for water infrastructure to match federal investments in Fiscal Year 2025 in excess of what the Governor proposed but disappointed that it doesn’t even match last year’s commitment. Let us be clear—the funding level in this year’s state budget doesn’t get us ahead. Updated projections indicate the total cost of water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years to total $30 billion, an increase of an additional $10 billion without accounting for updated rules and regulations around removal and prevention of PFAS in our water,” said Diane Schrauth, Chair of the Clean Water, Healthy Families, Good Jobs Campaign and Policy Director, Water at New Jersey Future.

"I am thrilled that the Governor and Legislature have supported this critically important environmental legislative agenda that includes funding for the operations of the New Jersey School of Conservation.  This funding allows the NJSOC to continue to educate young people, educators and researchers about the environment, conservation and stewardship of the earth and one another, said Kerry Pflugh, Executive Director, New Jersey School of Conservation. Thank you Governor Murphy, our champions in the legislature, Senators Smith and McKeon, and all who have supported the NJSOC so we can deliver our promise of environmental education for everyone everywhere."

“New Jersey Future is proud to call Trenton home. We view Capital Park as a critical improvement to the Statehouse complex and a vital connector between the Statehouse and the local community. In 2026, Capital Park will welcome the fifth governor since the beginning of advocacy behind converting this space into an urban park. We thank the legislature and administration for advancing this project and look forward to securing the final funding amounts soon,” said Peter Kasabach, Executive Director, New Jersey


While this budget delivered significant wins for the environment, New Jersey LCV and other environmental advocates are disappointed that the Legislature is phasing out the sales tax exemption for electric vehicles, raising costs at the exact moment we should be doubling down on cleaner transportation options.