Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach released the following statement on Governor Murphy’s State of the State address

TRENTON, January 9, 2024—There was an irony in today’s speech from the governor. One moment, he declared a state of emergency due to yet another extreme weather event that is anticipated to cause widespread havoc, flooding, and damage across the state. And then his State of the State remarks failed to elevate climate change adaptation as a priority, or address our outdated stormwater systems and rebuilding our state’s crumbling water infrastructure in general.

New Jersey sits at the crosshairs of major storms past, present, and future; we cannot overlook the simple and obvious steps we can take to ensure every community has the right infrastructure in place to ensure their safety.

Water infrastructure isn’t the only infrastructure that we need to invest in as a state. The governor mentioned the trans-Hudson tunnel as a significant infrastructure investment, which it is. However, he failed to prioritize NJTransit in his remarks, an agency and a critical service that he has long supported as a means to reduce commute times and assist our residents in getting where they need to be efficiently and affordably.

We applaud the efforts of our state leaders who championed Assembly Bill 4 to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), streamline the affordable housing production process, and infuse better planning into the process. We were glad to see that the governor supports this approach.

The governor is right to elevate the goal of “build[ing] new housing options where they are needed most…close to jobs, transit hubs, and Main Street businesses.” New Jersey Future shares the priority of constructing new, affordable, and attainable housing throughout the state, but emphasizes the need for housing to sit out of harm’s way so that it is sustainable and climate resilient. We further believe that the update of our State Plan—the first in two decades—is a key opportunity to promote sustainable development in every corner of our state and could have been prioritized by the governor in his remarks.

The governor will be presenting his budget priorities in the coming weeks. We hope to see some of the priorities mentioned here elevated to the level of importance they deserve and reflected in his budget.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

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