Spencer Pledges Pro-Conservation Agenda As New Assembly Environment Committee Chair

Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer

TRENTON – Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) on Thursday pledged to support a pro-conservation agenda for the most densely populated state in the country after being appointed by Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver to chair the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee for the new 215th Legislature.

“Grace is fiercely bright with an unparalleled work ethic and will be an excellent fit as Environment Chair,” said Oliver (D-Essex). “I know that she has what it takes to balance the nuanced issues that come before this committee.”

Spencer, an avid naturist and cyclist, hails from Newark and understands the impact that overdevelopment has had on New Jersey according to Assembly Democratic leaders.

“I’d like to thank Speaker Oliver and our Democratic leadership for having the confidence in me to helm this integral committee. I know that one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in recent decades is finding a delicate balance between smart growth and economic development. I’ve traveled the state from High Point to Cape May and I’ve seen how overdevelopment has impacted our state.

“For the sake of our environment and future generations, we must also renew our commitment to pursuing renewable energy alternatives if we intend to remain a leader in this area.

“There are many, many challenges we face and I look forward to working with stakeholders from across the board to tackle them,” said Spencer.

Spencer replaces Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), who was praised by environmental advocate Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “John McKeon has been the best Environment Committee chair I have worked with in my 25 years in Trenton,” he said. “He has passed more legislation to protect New Jersey’s open spaces and environment than any other chair. He has been an environmental champion for the people of New Jersey.”

McKeon was replaced in the committee leadership position after supporting an unsuccessful challenge of Oliver as Assembly Speaker last year.

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