Lisa McCormick is supporting an effort organized by some of the top environmental groups to put a question on the ballot next year allowing New Jersey residents to dedicate all funds from polluter damages to restoring the environment.
"No matter how much money New Jersey wins in damages from corporate polluters, there’s a cap on the amount that goes to restore local communities where the contamination happens," said Lisa McCormick. "That means communities victimized by industrial pollution are being cheated because the state can divert money to completely unrelated projects or use it to cover budget shortfalls."
"We should dedicate all funds from polluter damages to restoring the environment and compensating the public, because the awards won in court should not be robbed for political expediency," said McCormick. "The first step in getting it on the ballot is convincing Senate and Assembly leaders to bring the issue to a vote by December 31, so I am sponsoring a petition to tell legislative leaders to take action, now."
McCormick's petition says: "New Jersey’s policy that lets claims against big polluters be spent on unrelated budget expenses is bad for families, bad for our local economy, and bad for our environment. Give voters the chance to permanently dedicate these funds to environmental projects. Hold votes in the legislature in 2016 to take the first step in getting this important issue on the ballot next year."
Among the groups working to get a question on the ballot next year allowing New Jersey residents to vote to dedicate funds from polluter damages are American Littoral Society, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, League of Conservation Voters, Musconetcong Watershed Association, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New York/New Jersey Baykeeper and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.
McCormick is waging a low key campaign to win the Democratic nomination for governor over Phil Murphy, the former Goldman Sachs partner who she has often categorized as a "greedy Wall Street billionaire."