NEW JERSEY – Senator Anthony M. Bucco said Gov. Phil Murphy shouldn’t divert budget funds that have been dedicated for decades to a statewide litter abatement program that has helped to clean-up New Jersey while providing savings for property taxpayers.
“Over the past several decades, New Jersey has made great strides through the Clean Communities program to collect litter, educate residents, and protect our environment,” said Bucco (R-25). “The program has been so successful that no governor or Legislature has proposed cutting funding over the past two decades, even in the toughest of fiscal times. I’m sure that if Governor Murphy takes the time to examine the many successes of Clean Communities, he’ll understand why there has long been bipartisan opposition to raiding the program’s dedicated funds for other purposes.”
Clean Communities is New Jersey’s only statewide, comprehensive, litter abatement program. The program provides grants to municipalities and counties, allowing local governments to fund trash cleanups along roadsides and around stormwater drains without imposing an additional burden on property taxpayers, Bucco said.
To view the 2020 Clean Communities grant awards, click here.
In his FY 2021 State Budget proposal, Governor Murphy proposed diverting $10 million from Clean Communities — half of the program’s annual funding — to support unrelated executive branch payroll expenses, Bucco said.
“Everyone’s budgets are tight these days, but that doesn’t mean we should gut funding for a program that has continually produced such an amazing benefit for both the New Jersey environment and our property taxpayers,” Bucco said. “I urge the governor to rethink his budget and join us in protecting New Jersey Clean Communities.”
A recent editorial by Pat Ryan, the first president of the New Jersey Clean Communities Council, highlighted the massive long-term environmental progress achieved by the Clean Communities program and called for the funding to be restored.