On February 18, 2011, Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation (A2215) that would have required the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs “to establish and administer a program that makes low-interest loans available to a developer or redeveloper who constructs a new building or removes an existing building that, when completed, qualifies as a high performance green building.” Although the Office of Legislative Services determined in the Legislative Fiscal Estimate for Assembly bill A2215 that this legislation would not have any impact on the State General Fund, apparently this did not serve to sway the Governor.
It remains to be seen as to whether the Legislature will try to overturn the Governor’s veto. When the Legislature passed Assembly bill (A2215) on January 10th of this year, the Assembly (75-2-1) and the Senate (37-0) produced significantly more than the two-thirds majority required to overturn a Governor’s veto. However, the Legislature may opt, instead, to include the low-interest loan program contemplated by A2215 into a larger balanced budget plan. It appears from the press release posted by the Governor Christie’s Office on February 18th relating to his veto of this bill and 13 others, that the Governor might be more inclined to approve new financial incentives provided they paid for and accompanied by spending cuts.