NJ Spotlight

The N.J. Legislature is moving to exert its influence on the state’s energy policies by approving a pair of bills, one of which would stop hundreds of millions of dollars in ratepayer surcharges from being diverted to plug holes in the state budget.

The bills, approved yesterday by a vote split along partisan lines in the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, aim to prop up clean energy programs promoted by the state Board of Public Utilities and address the need to develop new generation capacity in New Jersey.

Both issues have been top priorities of the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican administration. But in the face of huge budget gaps, both have approved diverting more than $600 million in ratepayer-financed surcharges in recent years.

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