On Monday, the State Assembly voted 70-1 (with 4 not voting and 5 abstentions) to approve A-2558, known as the “Vegetation Management Response Act.” The League opposed this bill as it would give electric utility companies complete discretion to clear, move, cut, or destroy vegetation growing in, near, or adjacent to the right of way and without input from municipal officials. While we appreciate the sponsors’ response to the recent storms which left hundreds in the state without power, A-2558 takes too broad of an approach.
The Senate companion bill, S-2505, was amended on the floor in order to match the Assembly bill before it is presented to the Governor for his action. This sets up a potential Senate floor vote on Thursday, January 31.
We urge our members to reach out to their Senators to express the concerns with the bill. Your legislator’s contact information can be found using the state’s website which breaks this information down by municipality. And, for more information on the implication of A-2558/S-2505 please see our daily alert from December 14.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x137.