Friday, June 1, 2012

No Senate vote on NJ waiver and permit extension bills

NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney pulled from yesterday's voting agenda bills that would:

1. Extend expired development permits, and
2. Stop the NJDEP's proposed waiver rule.
(See yesterday's post on both)

Sources say that the sponsor of the permit-extension bill asked for a delay to consider changes sought by environmental groups. They want to limit the bill's application in certain environmentally sensitive areas of the Highlands and Pinelands region.

To be sure, environmentalists will not support any bill extending building permits. They're still pissed at God for granting the permit for the apple stand in the Garden of Eden. But they'll be less opposed if the bill  extends only permit dates and not geography.

[Related News: Attorney Michael Pisauro explains the environmental community's position yesterday in his Green Pages NJ  blog, while NJ Littoral Society exec Tim Dillingham ripped the legislation via an op-ed in yesterday's Trenton Times.]

Why was the waiver bill (which the environmentalists support) also yanked? 

You can expect to see it back on the Senate board when the latest version of the permit extension bill is ready for a vote. This way the Democratic majority can offer at least half-victories both to the greens and to the developers.

What do you think?  Let us know in the comment box below. If one is not visible, activate it by clicking on the tiny 'comments' line.


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