Contact: Michelle Peal
O: (732) 991-7574
C: (908) 313-4178
New Jersey LCV Releases 2024-2025 Common Agenda for the Environment
After leading the successful effort to elect a pro-environment majority to the General Assembly and Senate in last year’s election, New Jersey LCV joined with environmental champions in the Legislature and advocates to lay out the top environmental priorities facing New Jersey in the 2024-2025 legislative session.
“After significantly expanding pro-environment majorities in last year’s election, together with our champions in the Legislature and with our partners, New Jersey LCV is pleased to introduce an aggressive set of priorities that position our state to be a national leader in clean energy and environmental protection,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director New Jersey LCV. “With this Common Agenda, we hope to finish the work we started in the last legislative session of putting New Jersey on the path to 100% clean energy by 2035 while securing investments in modernizing our electric grid. We’re also announcing new priorities focused on limiting sprawl and protecting our drinking water. We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and our partners in the Legislature to advance these important initiatives, tackle climate change, preserve our open space, and protect the health and safety of New Jersey families.
The Common Agenda for the Environment includes five priorities:
- Securing a 100% clean energy future
- Preserving parks and other open spaces
- Reducing transportation pollution
- Safeguarding clean drinking water
- Enhancing voting rights
Securing a 100% clean energy future
New Jersey LCV will work with partners to finish the work begun last legislative session to codify Governor Murphy’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2035 into law, putting our state at the forefront in the fight against climate change while creating union jobs.
“New Jersey has a historic opportunity to secure its place as a leader in the fight against climate change by passing landmark legislation that puts us on the path to 100% clean energy by 2035,” said Nicole Miller, Principal, MnM Consulting and Co-Chair of the New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition (NJPEEC). “This legislation won’t just tackle the climate crisis; it will also create good-paying union jobs. And even more important, a clean energy future is essential to address the legacy of environmental racism that has left Black and brown families in cities like Newark with higher asthma, heart disease and cancer rates than families in wealthier neighborhoods. Investing in clean energy through thoughtful legislation is essential for ensuring families across New Jersey, including the more than 300 overburdened communities, can finally breathe clean air.”
"ANJEC is proud to stand in partnership with New Jersey LCV and a diverse group of environmental and community advocates in support of the Common Agenda. We are committed to using our resources and coordinating our efforts to tackle the big problems that affect New Jersey's nine million residents," said Jennifer M. Coffey, Executive Director, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC). "We are working together to tackle the climate crisis and are committed to ensuring New Jersey runs on 100% clean energy including offshore wind and solar power. We are committed to ending air pollution that makes too many kids and families sick, disproportionately so in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. We are committed to reducing the impacts of more frequent and intense flooding by updating stormwater infrastructure and creating more resilient communities. We're committed to building a better future that's not only Jersey strong, but Jersey smart, healthy, and just."
New Jersey LCV and its environmental partners also support investments to build a 21st century electricity grid and will also prioritize environmental justice concerns to ensure that any final legislation is truly green.
Preserving parks and open other open spaces
We will work to defend open space from sprawl and ensure that all New Jerseyans, no matter their ZIP code, have access to parks.
New Jersey LCV is also advocating for commonsense measures to fight warehouse sprawl by giving towns additional tools to assist with planning.
This includes reinstating the Corporate Business Tax surcharge to drive an additional $436,000,000 over the next ten years to open space preservation.
“The CBT Surcharge was allowed to sunset and the implications of this if not addressed will have a negative effect on historically overburdened and marginalized communities,” said Dr. Jacqueleen Bido, CEO of Elevate Newark. “In addition, the CBT Surcharge is needed to support transportation, a host of environmental protection programs, and access to green spaces throughout the State of New Jersey. It is imperative for us to recognize that now is the time for us to come together under a common agenda to ensure that we all have access to green spaces and preserve them for use by future generations,” said.
We will also push for increased funding in the budget for our state parks and support the creation of a new Capitol Park to expand access in Trenton.
Reducing transportation pollution
The transportation sector is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and environmental advocates are calling for strong action to strengthen NJ Transit while also reducing the climate impact of cars and trucks.
Top on the agenda is securing a long-term, sustainable funding source for NJ Transit that allows the agency to make necessary investments to attract riders back after the pandemic, expand service, and upgrade aging infrastructure.
We are also advocating for the adoption of a low carbon transportation standard, centered on environmental justice, to reduce pollution and improve air quality.
Safeguarding clean drinking water
Clean drinking water is an essential human right, and emerging contaminants threaten both human health and water quality.
A recent analysis found that New Jersey has the second highest rate of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water in the country. At the same time, microplastics, which results from the degradation of plastic in bodies of water, are an emerging contaminant that has been found in drinking water.
While New Jersey has been a national leader on these issues, we need continued study to ensure that proper protections are put in place to protect the health and safety of our state’s residents even as we push for additional investments to upgrade our aging water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure.
“With over 3 million New Jerseyans depending on the Delaware River Watershed for clean drinking water, it is crucial to protect our water supply and tackle the disproportionate impacts of various environmental challenges in the state,” said Kelly Knutson, Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “This calls for decisive measures, as detailed in New Jersey LCV’s Common Agenda, and we proudly join forces with our legislative champions and environmental partners, uniting in our commitment to advance clean water investments and bolster resilience against climate change throughout the Garden State.”
Enhancing voting rights
Protecting our democracy is essential to making sure that our elected officials put the health and safety of their constituents first.
New Jersey currently lags in voter participation, which is why we must work to remove barriers to the ballot box and while expanding fundamental voting rights and access by addressing long lines at the polls on Election Day and struggles with accessibility at polling locations.
That’s why advocates are prioritizing passage of same-day voter registration as well as the New Jersey Voting Rights Act to make New Jersey a leader in voting access and to take a strong stand against threats to our democracy.
“We know that a healthy democracy is critical to put the health, safety and prosperity of our communities ahead of the profits of corporate donors and polluters,” said Christian Estevez, President Emeritus of the Latino Action Network. “This is particularly true for communities that have experienced environmental racism. In order to right the wrongs of generations of unfair environmental policies, we need to strengthen voting access to empower communities to elect representatives who will fight for them.”
The following are quotes from other members of the Legislature and partners who support the New Jersey LCV Common Agenda:
“Congratulations to the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters on releasing their legislative priorities for this upcoming session,” said Assemblywoman Dr. Margie Donlon (D-Monmouth). Creating pro-environmental legislation requires all of us to take a look at how we interact with the environment every day, from our health to our finances. As a surfer, mom, and Assemblywoman, I recognize that environmental regulations play a major role in the decisions we make on behalf of our communities. I am excited to work with environmental leaders to develop legislation that will make New Jersey healthier, more efficient, and affordable for our families.”
“Stewarding our environment must rise above the politics of Republican or Democrat. It is our shared human concern,” said Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Morris). “My commitment especially to bettering the lives of women and children includes supporting bills that protect open spaces, safeguard drinking water and reduce transportation pollution. I stand with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and all who combat our most serious environmental challenges.”