Christie vetoes bill directed at Exxon settlement spending

 Two clean harbor cleanup boats work in the Arthur Kill waterway in 1990 in front of the Exxon oil refinery in Linden, New Jersey (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Two clean harbor cleanup boats work in the Arthur Kill waterway in 1990 in front of the Exxon oil refinery in Linden, New Jersey (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have required New Jersey to put the majority of its money from a much-criticized proposed pollution settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. toward environmental cleanup.

Earlier this year, the state struck a $225 million deal with the oil company over pollution around refineries in Linden and Bayonne.

Christie is proposing that $50 million go toward cleanup and the rest to help balance the state’s budget.

Democrats who control the Legislature passed a bill requiring half of the money beyond the first $50 million in any natural resources settlement go toward cleanup.

Christie vetoed it Monday, saying those decisions should be made each year through the budgeting process.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.