NJ Chapter – Advocacy Update
Florence Block, LEED Green Associate
Executive Director, USGBC-NJ
USGBC NJ has been committed to spreading the word about LEED v4, the newest version of the LEED green building program, which launched in November 2013. In an effort to better inform key influencers around the state, the New Jersey Chapter has actively engaged the legislature and Commissioners of various State departments on the importance of LEED and sustainable building. Since February, USGBC NJ has met with 12 members of the New Jersey State legislature, as well as staff of the NJ State Departments and partisan staff.
Meetings with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs provided an open dialogue about possible public-private collaborative efforts in educating those interested in achieving LEED credentials. We look forward to similar meetings with the Department of Transportation and the Board of Public Utilities in the coming months.
New Jersey has also been very engaged in legislative efforts to promote green building. Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), and Senator Bob Smith (D-17), Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee, have introduced legislation that would provide tax credits for certain green buildings. The “Green Building and Infrastructure Tax Credit Act” (S-754) was reported out of committee in March and now awaits second reading by the Senate in the Budget and Appropriations Committee. USGBC NJ strongly supports this legislation and looks forward to working with both Senators as the bill progresses.
USGBC NJ is continuing to work to better educate legislators, staffers and other influences within the State House on the economic benefits of green building and inform them of current green building efforts in New Jersey.
Our next advocacy-related event is coming up on July 22nd. USGBC NJ’s South Branch will be hosting a presentation by Senator Donald Norcross and Networking Dinner in Mount Laurel, NJ. Senator Norcross will discuss the topics of economic development, green building, and school construction, particularly in South Jersey. Come out and enjoy a night of networking and socializing with others in green building and advocacy related fields. (More info and register here.)
If you would like to know more about LEED v4 or New Jersey’s advocacy efforts, please contact me at (973) 290-0013, firstname.lastname@example.org.