SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 162

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RAYMOND J. LESNIAK

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Amends Constitution to require State’s participation in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution proposing to amend Article V, Section IV of the Constitution of New Jersey.

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The following proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of New Jersey is agreed to:

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

 

     Amend Article V, Section IV by the addition of a new paragraph 7 as follows:

     7.    (a) The State shall fully participate in the interstate cooperative effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, established through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the governors of several states on December 20, 2005.

     (b)   The Governor shall establish and maintain a greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program that effectuates the State’s full participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. 

     (c)   The greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program established by the Governor pursuant to subparagraph (b) of this paragraph shall be implemented in a manner consistent with the provisions of P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et seq.), as amended and supplemented, provided, however, no provision of P.L.2007, c.340, or any other law, shall in any manner nullify or diminish the duty imposed on the Governor pursuant to subparagraph (b) of this paragraph. 

 

     2.    When this proposed amendment to the Constitution is finally agreed to pursuant to Article IX, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, it shall be submitted to the people at the next general election occurring more than three months after the final agreement and shall be published at least once in at least one newspaper of each county designated by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly and the Secretary of State, not less than three months prior to the general election.

 

     3.    This proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted to the people at that election in the following manner and form:

     There shall be printed on each official ballot to be used at the general election, the following:

     a.    In every municipality in which voting machines are not used, a legend which shall immediately precede the question as follows:

     If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (X), plus (+), or check (a) in the square opposite the word "Yes." If you are opposed thereto make a cross (X), plus (+) or check (a) in the square opposite the word "No."

     b.    In every municipality the following question:

 

 

 

 

 

YES

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE THE STATE TO BE PART OF THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE

    Do you approve amending the New Jersey Constitution to require the State to be part of the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative?”  This initiative is a joint effort among several northeastern states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

 

 

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT

 

NO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    This constitutional amendment would require the State to be part of the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” commonly known as “RGGI.”  RGGI is a joint effort among several northeastern states to reduce the release of carbon dioxide from power plants.  Carbon dioxide is a type of greenhouse gas.  Too much carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is thought to affect climate.

    New Jersey was part of RGGI from 2005, when it began, until the State withdrew in 2011.  This amendment would require the State to be part of RGGI again. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution proposes an amendment to the State Constitution that would require the State to fully participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

     RGGI is a cooperative effort among several northeastern states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  New Jersey participated in RGGI from its inception in December 2005 until it withdrew in December 2011.  Current law, pursuant to P.L.2007, c.340 (C.26:2C-45 et seq.), authorizes, but does not mandate, the State’s participation in RGGI.  P.L.2007, c.340 also sets forth a framework and various requirements for a greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program through which the State’s participation in RGGI may be implemented. 

     This proposed constitutional amendment would require the Governor to establish and maintain a greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program that effectuates the State’s full participation in RGGI.  The proposed constitutional amendment would further require the Governor to implement the greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program in a manner consistent with the provisions of P.L.2007, c.340.  However, no provision of P.L.2007, c.340, or any other law, would in any manner nullify or diminish the duty imposed on the Governor to establish and maintain a greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading program that effectuates the State’s full participation in RGGI.