Today: Murphy’s First Budget Proposal
The proposed FY2019 budget will be announced this afternoon. We are anxious to see how the Murphy Administration may rectify some of the damage done over the last eight years. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:
“This is a progressive budget that will move us forward on clean energy, environmental justice, and fighting climate change. There will be funding to create green jobs, energy efficiency programs and reduce pollution while making us more resilient. Funding NJ Transit will get people to work and reduce traffic and air pollution. There will be a strong commitment to environmental justice to provide benefits and economic opportunities to communities most affected by climate change and pollution. Unlike Christie, who targeted the environment to balance the budget, we now have a budget that will help to ensure our air is clean, water is pure, toxic sites are cleaned, and we tackle climate change. It will take time to get us to where we need to be, but we hope that Murphy will take the first steps with his budget proposal.
“We must restore funding to the DEP and use the budget to make New Jersey cleaner, greener, and stronger than the next storm. We must reestablish programs to fight climate change and make us more resilient. Murphy can restore morale to the DEP by providing them with the funding and staff they need to implement important environmental protections, including our participating in RGGI. By rejoining RGGI, we will have another source of income that can be used for environmental and clean energy purposes. Murphy should create a strong ethics standard for all agencies and especially within the DEP. This includes stopping privatization of DEP function and work. He can help staff the agency by not letting monies be diverted by funds such as those to clean up toxic sites.
“Governor Murphy has the chance to restore the DEP to the great agency it once was. With his budget, he can restore funding to increase staffing and implement important programs. Due to our lawsuit, funds from the Exxon lawsuit will now be able to go towards environmental clean-ups. He can make sure that funds such as those for Clean Energy or Hazardous site clean-up go where they are meant to go. We are looking forward to a budget that restores funding and power to the DEP to help New Jersey protect our environment and public health while creating green jobs. After eight years of Christie, this budget is a major step forward for the environment.”