What is a Green Amendment?
Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
What's Happening in New Jersey?
On January 11, 2022, the proposed Green Amendment bills ACR72/SCR15 (formerly ACR80/SCR30) were re-introduced to the New Jersey legislature.
As of June 11, 2022, the NJ Green Amendment has 41 sponsors in the Assembly and 19 sponsors in the Senate. Click here to see if your legislator is signed on! If they have not, reach out to them and share your opinion on this powerful pathway for environmental protection.
While the amendment secured a Senate Environment Committee in 2018 and was passed with bi-partisan and majority support, since that time the NJ legislative leadership has refused to provide a hearing that would allow the amendment to proceed through the legislative process and to the people. On June 16, 2022, organizations and residents from New Jersey joined with legislative champions to urge the NJ legislative leadership to schedule hearings in the Assembly and Senate on the NJ Green Amendment. Watch the press conference here.
Please check out our Take Action page to see how you can make your voice heard and the opportunities to get active and engage.
As proposed the New Jersey environmental rights amendment would read as follows:
Every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, and ecologically healthy habitats, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of the environment. The State shall not infringe upon these rights, by action or inaction.
The State’s public natural resources, among them its waters, air, flora, fauna, climate, and public lands, are the common property of all the people, including both present and future generations. The State shall serve as trustee of these resources, and shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people.
This paragraph and the rights stated herein are (1) self-executing, and (2) shall be in addition to any rights conferred by the public trust doctrine or common law.
On the Senate side, Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Andrew Zwicker have led the bi-partisan charge with support from an additional 13 Democratic and 4 Republican colleagues for a total of 19 Senate sponsors.
On the Assembly side, Assemblymen John McKeon and Assemblyman Daniel Benson are the primary sponsors joined by 32 Democratic and 7 Republican colleagues for a total of 41 Assembly sponsors. Legislative action is expected as early as March 2022.
View all the sponsors of the bill here.
To learn more about the impact of the proposed NJ Green Amendment, view a 6 minute clip of the 2018 hearing on the bill at this link – the testimony is interesting, insightful and educational.
Who are our Lead Partners in the state?
- New Jersey Student Sustainability Coalition
- Bye Bye Plastic Bags NJ
- New Jersey Environmental Lobby
- Environmental Education Fund
- and a team of committed attorneys from the state to lead the effort
How and When
did this all start in the great state of New Jersey?
November 30, 2017, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, joined by Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Assemblywoman Pinkin and Assemblywoman Sumpter, announced new legislation that, if passed, would amend Article 1 of the state constitution to recognize that “Every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment….”, that the State has a duty to serve as trustee of the state’s natural resources, and must conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people. Since its original proposal there has been significant forward progress.
You can also help us demonstrate support for passage of a New Jersey Green Amendment by signing the petition today and be sure to share it with your friends. Read the petition and sign on here