Home > Uncategorized > Another Friday Night Massacre: Christie Vetoes RGGI and Stormwater Bills

Another Friday Night Massacre: Christie Vetoes RGGI and Stormwater Bills

Worst – Governor – Ever

[Update #2 – 8/23/11 – Star Ledger reports: Gov. Christie sends Barnegat Bay stormwater basins bill down the drain

BARNEGAT — Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have assessed fees on property owners in Ocean County to repair and retrofit stormwater basins as part of a plan to clean up Barnegat Bay.

That’s a nice headline, but the story but gets a critical fact wrong in the lede – the bill would NOT have assessed fees. The bill was enabling.

Basic fact research is not hard to do – all a reporter needs to do is read the bill – or an easier way is to read  the OLS fiscal note on the bill. The Governor and the Ocean County Republicans have misrepresented this issue several times now, and I’ve tried to clarify that, so here it is again:

No impact on State funds; Ocean County public property owners may be liable for user fees if stormwater utility is established.The bill authorizes, but does not require, Ocean County, or the Ocean County Utilities Authority, to establish a stormwater utility for the purpose of creating a stormwater management system pilot project to help manage the county’s stormwater runoff systems.

The bill authorizes Ocean County, or the Ocean County Utilities Authority, to finance the operation of the stormwater utility system through the imposition of user fees on property owners and the issuance of bonds.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is directed to create a stormwater utility guidance manual to provide guidance to counties and authorities seeking to establish stormwater management systems.

The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimates that, provided the pilot program is established, the fiscal impact of the bill on public funds would be limited to user fees imposed on publicly-owned properties in Ocean County.  Any DEP costs incurred in carrying out its responsibilities to Ocean County should be covered by its five percent allotment of annual user fee revenues provided under the bill.

The story also fails to point out the factual error and hypocrisy of Governor Christie’s rationale for vetoing the bill. Just last week, Governor Christie correctly said a proposed Port Authority toll increase was a user fee, not a tax increase. But he made no such clear distinction here:

In his veto message, Christie said his 10-point plan addressing the health of the bay is designed to make improvements with existing funds.

“While I fully share the sponsors’ concerns about Barnegat Bay, now is not the time to increase the tax burden,” Christie wrote in his veto message Friday.

“I simply cannot support this imposition of the additional fees that would be required under this bill.”

The Ocean County Republican Freeholders feel the County has done its share on the Bay. I agree  they sure have. They have aggressively promoted the over-development that has destroyed the Bay.

Heckof a Job Freeholders!

Update #1: 8/21/11 -see my other post that focuses on the Christie RGGI veto.

Kirk Moore of APP tells the ugly story: Gov vetoes bay storm-water bill

“Notwithstanding my administration’s strong and dedicated commitment to the Barnegat Bay environment, I cannot support new fees imposed in addition to what are already the nation’s highest property taxes,” Christie said

This echoes Christie’s prior “Drop Dead!” message.

Back in May, Governor Christie vetoed a related stormwater management bill, so this current veto marks Christie’s third veto of bills to restore Barnegat Bay.

Amazingly timed with the “Monster Algae Bloom” currently lurking off the NJ Coast, the Governor has now vetoed 2 storm-water bills and the  TMDL bill]



S-1815/A-2577 (B. Smith/McKeon, Barnes) – – ABSOLUTE – “Ocean County Stormwater Management System Demonstration Act”

S-2946/A-4108 (Sweeney, Smith/McKeon, Chivukula, Stender, Barnes, Gusciora, Vainieri Huttle) – ABSOLUTE – Clarifies intent of P.L. 2007, c.340 regarding NJ’s required participation in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Governor Christie Vetoes S-2946 (hit link for veto message)

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  1. Scott
    August 19th, 2011 at 22:47 | #1
  2. August 20th, 2011 at 08:22 | #2

    Caption for the photo: “I can afford bottled water. The rest of you can drink whatever crap comes out of your tap.”

  3. bill wolfe
    August 20th, 2011 at 09:26 | #3

    feel free to cross post at BJ as a caption contest.
    (btw, enjoyed your post on energy hearing – I probably write something about EMP one of these days).

  1. August 21st, 2011 at 09:55 | #1
  2. January 3rd, 2012 at 21:33 | #2
  3. January 15th, 2012 at 16:13 | #3
  4. June 18th, 2012 at 18:13 | #4
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