In Your Opinion: Vote Yes On Ballot Question 2

By Ed Potosnak.

A statewide ballot question that would create a lock box for pollution settlements will be decided by voters on Nov. 7.

If approved, the measure will change the state Constitution to permanently protect communities sullied by industrial pollution from raids of funds meant to restore their rivers, streams, and parks.

This change will not cost taxpayers a dime. There is every reason to vote yes!

When contamination lawsuits are brought against companies like Exxon Mobil, the settlement contains two pots of money: Clean-up costs, which could run into the billions; and a smaller amount for restoration to cities and towns where the pollution occurred.

In recent years, however, lawmakers of both parties got the idea to raid the restoration money and spend it on unrelated things, like plugging holes in the state budget.

Changing the Constitution is a serious step, but in this case, a necessary one – It’s the only way to ensure that Trenton politicians keeps their hands-off money meant for polluted cities and towns. Perhaps that’s why the legislation to put the question on the ballot was approved 28-8 in the Senate and 56-18 in the Assembly.

It’s important to vote the entire ballot on Nov. 7, and I’d urge you to vote yes on Question 2!

Ed Potosnak is Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

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