There are all sorts of ways the state can obtain additional money each year without a clear expectation — and judgments by the Division of Law in the state attorney general’s office is one of them. In 2015, the state garnered $451 million through litigation, judgments, and settlements. That’s a 30 percent increase from 2014.
The largest amount was the $225 million ExxonMobile settlement that Democrats and environmentalists have criticized as being much too low, given that the courts had already agreed that the damage by Exxon was $8.9 billion.
Another notable amount was the $21.5 million from Standard and Poor’s — New Jersey’s portion of a national settlement regarding the firm’s role as a ratings agency in the mortgage crisis that precipitated the Great Recession.
New Jersey also obtained $5.7 million in a consent decree against the present owner of the Cornell-Dubilier superfund site in South Plainfield, and $7 million against Chase regarding charges of robo-signing mortgage foreclosures.