Sen. Ray Lesniak denied housing, anti-poverty and enviro advocates from being heard when his questionable S-1 housing legislation was heard in committee. So, they get a hearing here. I don’t those two opportunities are equal, though, do you? Yeah, neither do I. They have put forward an alternative housing policy that deserves the legislature’s consideration. And they’re asking your help, Blue Jersey, in asking key lawmakers not to post S-1, but to open up the process. Can you help, Blue Jersey? Here’s the contact info: Speaker Sheila Oliver (973-395-1166) Housing Committee Chair Asm Jerry Green (908-561-5757) & Vice-Chair Asw Mila Jasey. (973-762-1886) – promoted by Rosi Efthim
For the past several months, we have been updating you on the ineffective, unconstitutional housing legislation proposed by Sen. Lesniak, S-1, which unfairly asks first-ring suburbs and South Jersey to do more than many wealthier North Jersey towns. The Assembly is deciding what to do about S-1, and we need your help.
The bill passed the Senate last week with the Democratic caucus closely divided between supporters and opposition/abstainers – and the Republicans nearly unanimously in support behind Gov. Christie’s charge to gut the state’s requirements that towns may not use their zoning to keep out low- and moderate-income people – and do so no later than June 30. We thank those who voted against the bill – Sen. Weinberg who released this excellent statement today, Sen. Rice, and Sen. Turner – and also Sen. Norcross who has spoken at length on the problems with S-1 and why he abstained.
Thursday, S-1 heads to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. The question is whether the Assembly will roll over and pass a deeply flawed bill in order to meet Gov. Christie’s arbitrary deadline, or actually allow the public process that the Senate shut down – to a degree so extreme that NO public testimony was allowed on the bill the Senate voted on.
A wide range of groups – the NAACP, environmentalists, special needs housing providers, and housing advocates – proposed an alternative housing policy to replace COAH today. You can download an overview here. We had intended to present these ideas to the Senate and weren’t allowed to do so.
According to an article in the Asbury Park Press, Speaker Oliver is undecided about whether to post S-1 for a vote. We need your help to ask Assembly members to ask Speaker Oliver – and Housing Committee Chair Green and Vice-Chair Jasey – to not post S-1, and instead have an open public process to work on an alternative that actually meets the need for homes near jobs and transit instead of encouraging sprawl, recognizes differences between towns, treats all parts of the state fairly, and is constitutional.
Please e-mail me at email@example.com tomorrow if you are able to reach out to any members of the Assembly – thank you for your support!
PS Thank you Rosi for the help with making our diaries look better (i.e. HTML 101)!