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New Jersey Future’s Lame Duck Legislative Priorities for 2023-2024

December 5th, 2023 by

The Legislature’s “lame-duck” session began in November and will end in early January. This is a time before newly elected legislators take office in January, and is a time of great unpredictability.  This can be an active, albeit brief, window of time when legislators may be willing to hear new policy priorities or advance existing bills in the final weeks of the session. 

New Jersey Future is watching and supporting several bills that align with our priorities—strengthening lead disclosure laws, allocating dedicated funding to NJ Transit, providing municipalities with tools to plan for warehouse development, and more. We also support policies that will improve how we redevelop and alleviate affordability issues we face as a state, such as the legalization of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and a reduction of parking requirements for projects close to public transportation. 

We are advocating for a series of land-use, infrastructure, and water-related policies we hope the legislature will act on:

  • We are pushing for S2695, regarding lead disclosure in rental properties, passes in the Senate and is signed by Governor Murphy. Currently, in NJ, if your landlord pays your water bill, you don’t have access to information on lead exposure in your home. Hence, this bill closes a very important gap in the disclosure of lead in drinking water hazards by providing a more comprehensive disclosure process for tenants.
  • We’re hoping for an introduction of a bill that addresses warehouse sprawl. The bill will not change municipal land use authority, but calls for the creation of useful tools for municipalities, and provides for a thorough regional review process for large warehouse proposals.
  • We support the creation of a dedicated source of funding for New Jersey Transit. Over 630,000 passengers rely on New Jersey Transit’s buses and trains every day. We urge the Legislature to dedicate a sustainable funding source to the transit system so it can retain its bus and train service and keep fares affordable for riders. We also support the renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund.

New Jersey Future is actively supporting the following legislative initiatives, which are under active consideration, and hopes our leaders take action during this lame-duck period:

  • The legalization of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which will help both existing homeowners and people looking for rental housing. ADUs can help solve New Jersey’s housing crisis, make the state more affordable, lessen racial segregation, and build home equity for homeowners. 
  • Bill A4984/S3605 which reduces the number of parking spaces required in statewide Residential Statewide Site Improvement Standards for residential developments depending on the development’s proximity to public transportation.

These aren’t the only bills and potential bills we’re promoting—we continue to seek every opportunity to promote sensible and equitable growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster healthy, strong, resilient communities; protect natural lands and waterways; increase transportation choices beyond cars; provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods; and fuel a strong economy. Significant policies that have had a long-lasting impact on contemporary politics and law have also come about as a result of lame-duck sessions. We encourage you to follow these issues closely and advocate for them in your communities—now is a great time to speak with your local representatives directly, by placing a call or sending an email to their offices. 

Search your local elected officials using this online tool. Follow us on our social media for the latest updates on these issues, and read more in our blogs.

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