Greens oppose Turnpike expansion – POLITICO
A $4.7 billion plan to extend eight miles of freeway leading to the Holland Tunnel is drawing criticism from environmental groups in New Jersey, POLITICO’s Ry Rivard reports.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority aims to replace the aging Newark Bay Bridge between Newark and Bayonne with two new spans that would double the number of lanes to four in each direction. Expansion of lanes and sections of roadway would also be targeted through Bayonne and Jersey City as they approach the tunnel.
While the agency maintains the project will alleviate traffic in the tunnel, including truck traffic to the Port of Bayonne, critics say the extra lanes will further block traffic.
Environmental groups say road expansion for cars and trucks — by far the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state — contradicts the climate goals of Governor Phil Murphy’s administrationincluding a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“The Murphy administration has no plan to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouses by 50% by 2030 — that’s the big picture,” said John Reichman, an attorney who filed the petitions on behalf of EmpowerNJ, a coalition of community groups. defense, including Environment New Jersey and Safe Streets Jersey City.
Murphy’s office did not explicitly defend the Turnpike project he also did not stray from the authority’s plans, but defended the governor’s environmental agenda, citing plans to promote electric vehicles and raise funds for public transit.
“Our state’s aging infrastructure requires significant investment, and all New Jerseyans deserve commutes that are as safe and efficient as possible,” Murphy spokesperson Bailey Lawrence said in a statement. “As we proactively improve our roads, bridges and tunnels to meet increased demand in the future, we will also continue to encourage vehicle electrification to significantly alleviate the environmental pressure imposed by cars and trucks. .”
HAPPY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON — Hello, I’m Jonathan Custodio, your Playbook PM author. We’re adding New Jersey political trivia to this newsletter and will shout out one person who answers the question correctly in the next day’s edition.
Today’s shoutout goes to Karen Jezierny for answering this question correctly. Deborah Poritz was New Jersey’s first female attorney general. Many of you quickly noticed that she was also the first woman to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey. Today’s question: What was the first year that women made up more than 30 percent of the state legislature? Send answers and tips to [email protected].
We’re here with the latest news from Trenton and beyond as New Jersey moves through the budget process and the Legislature holds hearings on Murphy’s spending plan.
THIS SCHOOL YEAR IS NOT OVER YET — In another sign that budget negotiations appear to be going smoothly, Murphy and legislative leaders announced today that the state will institute a so-called back-to-school tax holiday later this summer as part of the deal. overall budget.
The 10-day sales tax holiday will apply to school supplies, certain computers and other educational technology, and sports equipment. It will last from August 27 to September 5.
“We talked about a tax holiday for the start of the school year for a long time,” Murphy said at an event at Red Bank, where he was joined by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate Speaker Nick Scutari. “As inflation – I need not say this but I will repeat it – is a central concern around every kitchen table in our state, now is the time to do so. We can more than afford to provide this tax relief to our families and our students.
The deal comes with accompanying legislation, sponsored by Senator Fred Madden and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (both D-Gloucester) that will be passed as part of the Assembly’s budget proposal. legislation for the 2023 financial year.
murphy said the vacation will cost around $75 million.
The following are exempt from the 6.625% sales tax:
– School supplies (pens and pencils, notebooks and binders)
– Art supplies (paints and brushes, clay and glazes)
– Teaching materials (maps, globes, reference books and workbooks)
– Computers with a sale price below $3,000
— Computer supplies (computer storage equipment, printers and personal digital assistants, with a sale price of less than $1,000 per item)
— Sports or leisure equipment (dancing shoes, baseball and hockey gloves, sports cleats, mouth guards, roller and ice skates, and bicycle and motorcycle helmets) —Carly Sitrin
COVID NUMBERS— New Jersey reported 2,111 confirmed positive Covid-19 tests and 20 deaths from the virus today. The state’s seven-day average was down 11% from a week ago and 47% from a month ago.
PARKS AND REC — After more than an hour of public testimony, the Assembly’s Local and State Government Committee voted unanimously to publish the bill. NJ A4264 (22R)who would establish a task force to redesign Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), redoes the park, which overlooks the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline — a proposal complicated by the involvement of the billionaire CEO of Reebok, Paul Fireman, supporting the expansion of his private golf course. on the park grounds.
Representatives of the Liberty State Park for All Coalition, as well as the People’s Park Foundation, funded in part by Fireman, spoke in favor of the bill, arguing that new athletic facilities and improvements to the park would be important to the Jersey City community.
Meanwhile, members of the Sierra Club and local activists said they agreed improvements were needed, but argued for amendments to ensure limited private development in the park, as well as the protection of wildlife at Caven Point, an undeveloped parcel adjoining the Fireman Golf Course.
James Solomon, Member of Jersey City Council, spoke out against the bill in its current form, pointing out that most of those speaking on both sides shared a similar vision for the park – a vision that the proposed amendments banning large-scale privatization would not block.
“MP McKnight, Commissioner [Jerry] Walker, they both stood here and said they don’t want privatization. So what’s stopping us from putting these protections in the bill? Solomon said before the committee. “You have an amazing opportunity to be the heroes and heroines of Jersey City with these simple amendments, but you can produce a bill that will unite us all here.”
committee members said the bill was still a “work in progress.” -Daniel O’Connor
WEAPONS SAFETY — On Thursday, the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee plans to take up several of the gun control bills that Murphy has long lobbied for, POLITICO has learned.
The hearing is not yet on the Senate agenda but is expected to be announced later today, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans.
The soon-to-be-scheduled committee hearing signals a breakthrough in negotiations between Murphy and Scutari and comes as the governor and legislature negotiate the state budget ahead of the June 30 deadline — a process that typically involves agreements reached on legislation unrelated to the package expenses. —Matt Friedman
ADVOCATES FOR THE PROTECTION OF AGRICULTURAL LABOR —Lauren Sforza of NorthJersey.com: “Jannet G. commutes about two hours a day planting and harvesting crops on a farm in New Jersey to support her three children and her partner back home in Pennsylvania. …
Jannet’s story is a common story among farm workers across the country, where many of these workers are poorly paid, work long hours in the heat, and risk deportation if they are undocumented. About half of agricultural work is done by undocumented immigrants, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The United Farm Workers Foundation, an organization that defends the rights of agricultural workers, has pushed lawmakers to pass new safety and protection rules for agricultural workers, such as implementing a national heat standard, banning pesticides that harm people and creating an accessible path to citizenship.
THE STATE’S ‘SORE LOSER’ LAW TO BE TESTED —David Wildstein of the New Jersey Globe: “New Jersey’s Sore Loser law barring the loser of a primary from running as an independent in the general election will be tested in court next month.
Joseph Abutel, who mounted an unsuccessful writing campaign for the Colts Neck Township Committee in the June Republican primary, now wants to run for office as an independent.
But Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon, finding clear evidence that Abutel had actively sought the Republican nomination, rejected Abutel’s nomination petition – filed before polls closed on June 7 – for the fall elections.
– Hudson County Community College is the last school to add cannabis in the school curriculum.
— A police officer from Lakewood is under investigation after allegedly punching an opponent during a softball game.
– NY Waterway will resume ferry service of Port Liberty. It was suspended since the start of the pandemic.
— New legislation would require New Jersey students and employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to attend classes or events in person.