The New Jersey State Senate will soon vote on a bill that would diminish the local voice in the care of trees and shrubs in the right-of way along streets – including trees on private lands whose branches extend over the right-of-way – and those in municipal parks.  The Vegetation Management Response Act, S2505, would exempt public utilities and cable television and communications companies from compliance with municipal laws and from taking local vegetation management priorities into account.  The Assembly recently passed the bill (A2558) with nearly unanimous approval. 

We need to remind our elected representatives thata ‘public utility’ serves the public, not the other way around.  A State law should not authorize utilities to give no consideration to a municipality’s concern.

This applies not only to electric utilities but also to anypublic utility, including gas, water, pipeline, communications, or cable television companies.

Please take the time to call, email, or write to your State Senator, and urge him/her to oppose passage of S2505 as it is currently written. You can find your elected State Senator’s information here:

https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp