Chris Christie Vetoes Exxon Settlement Bill
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill Monday that would have required New Jersey to put the majority of its money from a much-criticized proposed pollution settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp. toward environmental cleanups.
The state earlier this year announced a $225 million deal with the oil company over pollution around its refineries in Linden and Bayonne.
Christie is proposing in his budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 that $50 million go toward cleanup and the rest to help balance the state's budget.
Democrats who control the Legislature passed a bill requiring half of the money beyond the first $50 million in any natural resources settlement to go toward cleanups. The bill pertains to any settlement, but it's aimed at the deal with Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil in particular.
The Republican governor, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, vetoed the bill Monday, saying those decisions should be made each year through the budgeting process. He also said his veto should not be taken as disregard for the environment.