Senate Approves Open Space Bill!
The New Jersey Senate approved, with strong bipartisan support, a bill to appropriate the voter approved funds for open space, farmland, and historic preservation and stewardship. This bill ensures that corporate business tax revenues constitutionally dedicated to preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s land, water and historic resources are used as intended by the voters.
After each of the 13 Green Acres and Garden State Preservation Trust referendums since 1961, the legislature has approved legislation to allocate the funds to the purposes that the voters approved. Yesterday, the state Senate voted 31-6 to implement the 2014 voter-approved constitutional amendment that would put tens of millions of dollars into the state’s open space program each year.
“We have been patiently waiting for the legislature to allocate funds for the past year and a half so that we can preserve more open space,” said The Land Conservancy of New Jersey President, David Epstein. “We applaud the Senate for following the will of New Jersey voters and hope the Assembly will follow suit so these funds can be released later this year.”
In November 2014, 65% of New Jersey voters approved Public Question 2 and established stable funding for the preservation and stewardship of open space, parks, farms, historic and flood-prone areas by dedicating four percent of existing corporate business tax revenues to preservation and environmental programs through fiscal year 2019, and dedicating an additional two percent of existing corporate business tax revenues from fiscal year 2020 going forward.