New Jersey's Green Amendment For The Generations
What is a Green Amendment?
Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people. regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or income, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
What's Happening in New Jersey?
In 2020 the proposed Green Amendment bills ACR80/SCR30 (formerly ACR85/SCR134) were re-introduced to the New Jersey legislature.
As of October 2020, the proposed NJ Green Amendment has 43 sponsors in the Assembly and 12 sponsors in the Senate. Click here to see if your legislator is signed on! If they have not, consider reaching out to them and sharing your opinion on this powerful environmental protection idea.
As proposed the New Jersey environmental rights amendment would read as follows:
Every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, and ecologically healthy habitats, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of the environment. The State shall not infringe upon these rights, by action or inaction.
The State’s public natural resources, among them its waters, air, flora, fauna, climate, and public lands, are the common property of all the people, including both present and future generations. The State shall serve as trustee of these resources, and shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people.
This paragraph and the rights stated herein are (1) self-executing, and (2) shall be in addition to any rights conferred by the public trust doctrine or common law.
On the Senate side there is bi-partisan support. Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14) has led the charge and been joined by Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) to advance SCR30. On October 15, 2018, a bipartisan super-majority of the Senate Environment Committee passed SCR134. If you are interested to learn more about the impact of the proposed NJ Green Amendment, you can view the hearing at this link – the testimony was interesting, insightful and educational.
On the Assembly side, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin is joined by Assemblyman John McKeon and Assemblyman Daniel Benson as the primary sponsors of ACR80.
View all the sponsors of the bill here.
How and When
did this all start in the great state of New Jersey?
November 30, 2017, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, joined by Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Assemblywoman Pinkin and Assemblywoman Sumpter, announced new legislation that, if passed, would amend Article 1 of the state constitution to recognize that “Every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment….”, that the State has a duty to serve as trustee of the state’s natural resources, and must conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people. Since its original proposal there has been significant forward progress.
You can also help us demonstrate support for passage of a New Jersey Green Amendment by signing the petition today and be sure to share it with your friends. Read the petition and sign on here.
PRESS REGARDING THE ANNOUNCEMENT
- Shaping Up for a Big Fight in NJ on Question of Right to a Clean Environment, NJ Spotlight, 10/17/2018
Bill Would Put Right to Clean Environment on Ballot With New Constitutional Amendment, Press of Atlantic City, 11/30/2017
- New Jersey Bill Would Establish Constitutional Right to Clean Air and Water, WBGO 88.3, 11/30/2017
- Several State Legislators Want Constitutional Right Clean Air, Water. Politico 11/30/2017
- Will New Jersey Make a Healthy Environment an Inalienable Right? NJ Spotlight 12/1/2017
Resolutions in Support of a Green Amendment