In response to the Christie administration’s proposed settlement with Exxon, some New Jersey lawmakers want to ensure that more money won in environmental damage awards -in the future – goes towards clean-up.
Under current New Jersey law first $50 million of any settlement money goes for cleanup and restoration, anything above that can be used for the general fund.
Democrats who sponsored the legislation say that’s not enough.
Their bill would require one-half of all settlement proceeds in excess of 50-million dollars to be spent to on clean up.
But Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says governors should have flexibility on how that’s spent.
“I think it’s very hard to tie the hands of governors with respect to use of funds depending on which emergencies arise or don’t arise.”
The Assembly Environment Committee advanced the measure on a party-line vote with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed.