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Greenstein, Zwicker Proposal for ‘Green Amendment’ Advances


TRENTON – The Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced a resolution sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Andrew Zwicker that would enshrine into the New Jersey Constitution the right for every resident to have a clean and healthy environment.

“The ‘Green Amendment’ seeks to ensure that our state will protect our environment and natural resources, for the wellbeing of those of us here today and for future generations,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Our children and grandchildren deserve to have a guarantee that they will be able to enjoy nature, to breathe clean air, to drink clean water, and this amendment would provide exactly that.”

The resolution, SCR-43, would establish the right to a clean and healthy environment, with pure water, clean air, and ecologically healthy habitats. The state would serve as trustee of natural resources, and would not be permitted to infringe upon the aforementioned rights through action or inaction.

“It should not be a privilege to breathe clean air and drink clean water, but a right. Other states, including our neighbors Pennsylvania and New York, already have enshrined this right into their respective constitutions,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “Now, it is time for New Jersey to do the same, in the interest and wellbeing of future generations.”

If passed, the proposed constitutional amendment would be put up for a statewide vote in the next general election for voters to approve or reject. If approved, it would become part of the Constitution on the March 1st next following the general election in which it was approved.

The proposal for a constitutional amendment advanced in a 3-1 vote, with 1 additional abstention.