New Jersey's Incredible Shrinking $225 Million Exxon Mobil Settlement

What’s more, the administration in the past has diverted at least $50 million from a previous settlement to the general fund to help plug a hole in the state budget. A spending plan for this year’s budget by the Legislature would have prevented that from occurring, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the language in signing the bill. The same diversion is in place under the spending plan proposed by the governor for next year’s budget.

It is unclear whether that money will be use to pay the counsel’s contingency fee or go into the general fund.

The proposed agreement was published yesterday, but the outlines of the agreement provoked more questions from critics, which include environmental groups and Democratic legislators. Their chief complaint is that the deal is significantly less than the $8.9 billion the state originally sought.

In detailing the settlement in a 42-page brief published yesterday, the state attorney general’s office and the DEP called it “fair, responsible, and in the public interest.’’

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