USGBC-NJ ADVOCACY BOARD REPORT
Prepared by Advocacy & Management Group (AMG)
Legislative Activity: September – October
A-943 CSingleton (D7); Conaway (D7) – Permits small businesses to qualify for loans from NJEDA for costs of energy audit and making energy efficiency or conservation improvements. This bill passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on November 9, 2015 and it has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. We have been supportive of this legislation.
A-2579 (Mukherji (D33); Pintor Marin (D29) – Authorizes municipalities to facilitate private financing of water conservation, storm shelter construction, and flood and hurricane resistance projects through use of voluntary special assessments. This bill was conditionally vetoed by the governor on November 9, 2015 and it has been referred back to the Assembly which has the option to concur with the Governor’s recommended changes to the bill. We had supported this legislation.
A-2580 (Mukherji (D33); Pintor Marin (D29) Provides for priority consideration, by DCA, DEP, DOT, and municipalities, of permit applications for green building projects. This passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on November 9, 2015 and it awaits further legislative action. We have been supportive of this legislation.
A-3849 (DeAngelo (D14); Eustace (D38) – Requires BPU to provide links to pricing information to customers from electric and gas public utilities, and third party electric power and gas suppliers. This bill passed the Senate 37-0 on October 22, 2015. It now awaits further legislative action in the Assembly. We have been supportive of this legislation.
A-3850/S-2467 (DeAngelo (D14); Eustace (D38)/Turner (D15); Singer (R30) – Requires BPU to establish procedures allowing electric power and gas supplier customers to switch energy suppliers. This bill was amended on the Senate floor on October 22, 2015. It awaits further legislative action in the Senate. We have been supportive of this legislation.
A-3851 (DeAngelo (D14); Eustace (D38) – Imposes contract standards between customers and third party electric power and gas suppliers. This bill passed the Senate on OCtober 22, 2015 38-0 and sent to the governor. We have been supportive of this legislation.
A-4128 (Mazzeo (D2); DeAngelo (D14) – Requires BPU to approve qualified wind energy project and exempts project from cost benefit analysis. This bill passed the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on November 9, 2015 and it awaits further legislative action in the Assembly. We have been monitoring this legislation.
S-1413 (Smith (D17); Bateman (R16) – Requires BPU financial incentives for photovoltaic equipment for residences that are Energy Star compliant receive preferred treatment. This bill passed the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and it awaits further legislative action in the Assembly. We have been monitoring this legislation.
S-2973 (Smith (D17); Bateman (R16) – Revises electronic waste recycling laws. This bill was amended on the Senate floor with a substitute. It awaits further action in the Senate. We have been monitoring this bill and may oppose the bill based on some feedback from the Advocacy Committee.
Governor Chris Christie will nominate Ford M. Scudder, currently the Chief Operating Officer of Laffer Associates, as New Jersey State Treasurer. A Princeton native, Scudder replaces Andrew Sidamon- Eristoff who departed from the Administration in July. Scudder will begin his tenure as Acting Treasurer leading the Department of Treasury on November 9th . His full nomination will need approval by the Senate.
Governor Christie formally nominated Richard J. Badolato as Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance. Badolato has been serving as Acting Commissioner since August 1, 2015. He was previously a partner at the law firm of Connell Foley in Roseland. He has expertise in civil trial litigation including medical, legal, and dental malpractice; products liability; automobile litigation; insurance coverage and policy interpretation and subrogation recovery. Badolato is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law and Fairfield University. Badolato succeeded Kenneth Kobylowski.
The Governor also named New Jersey Department of Transportation veteran Richard T. Hammer as the agency’s Acting Commissioner and will formally nominate him to succeed Jamie Fox. Hammer is currently Assistant Commissioner responsible for the Department’s Capital Program Management Section.
Advocacy Committee Meeting:
We met with New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman and had a successful meeting. This meeting kicked off our meetings to discuss adoption of the International Green Construction Code and brief stakeholders on what our state chapter and national organization are working on.
Southern Branch event:
We have been working with the Southern Branch on their December 9th event. We have invited and confirmed the participation of New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) Chief Executive Officer Charles McKenna and SDA Design Team Managing Director Richard Sherman.
Advocacy Committee Meeting/Prep:
We have meetings scheduled with Melissa Orsen, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman. We are in the process of re-scheduling a meeting with Assemblywoman Grace Spencer.