REPUBLICANS FLIP FLOP, FAILING TO DELIVER VOTES ON McKEON & CHIVUKULA BILL TO HELP CREATE GREEN JOBS & BUILDINGS

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John F. McKeon and Upendra Chivukula that would have helped generate green buildings and green jobs failed to garner enough support on Thursday from Republicans to help override Governor Christie’s recent veto of the measure. The veto override failed by a vote of 44-32 with Republicans opposed and 54 votes needed to override a veto.

The bill (A-2215) originally received near-unanimous support from both houses of the Legislature and would have created a program offering low-interest loans to developers who construct high performance green buildings.

“This is a short-sighted move on the part of both the Governor and our Republican colleagues in the legislature,” said McKeon (D-Essex), Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee. “By focusing on large, commercial buildings, this program would have created both short and long term job growth in an environmentally-friendly manner. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues have changed their minds and decided this is not the best option for New Jersey anymore.”

“It’s sad that our Republican colleagues who once were so strongly in favor of this bill no longer see its merit,” said Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex). “These loans would have encouraged economic growth, job creation and environmental awareness while creating a more sustainable, greener infrastructure for our state. Unfortunately, the Governor and Assembly Republicans have little regard for the thousands of unemployed New Jerseyans dying to get back to work.”

A “high performance green building” is defined in the bill as a commercial, industrial or mixed use building having at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area that is designed and constructed in a manner that achieves at least:

1) a silver rating according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System as adopted by the United States Green Building Council;

2) a silver rating according to the National Green Building Standards as adopted by the International Code Council and the American National Standards Institute;

3) a two globe rating according to the Green Globes Program as adopted by the Green Building Initiative; or

4) a comparable numeric rating according to a nationally recognized, accepted, and appropriate numeric sustainable development rating system, guideline.