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On November 4, 2014 New Jersey voters approved Public Question 2 to ensure dedicated state funds are available to protect New Jersey's clean drinking water, open spaces, farmland and historic sites, as well as to improve water quality and clean up polluted sites.

Here's what you need to know about this ballot measure:

Dedicate existing funds, with no new taxes

Public Question 2 dedicates a small percentage of existing state revenues, without increase taxes, to replenish the now-depleted Green Acres, Blue Acres, farmland and historic preservation programs, and continue funding to improve water quality, remove and clean up underground storage tanks, and clean-up polluted sites.

Protect clean water, our quality of life, and our children's future

All funds from the statewide bond that voters approved in 2009 are fully allocated. There is no new money left for preservation programs in New Jersey, but tremendous needs remain. According to a report by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, more than 650,000 acres still need to be preserved to protect natural and water resources and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities to a growing population. At least 350,000 acres of additional farmland must be preserved to maintain a viable agriculture industry, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  Public Question 2 would ensure that stable funding is available to protect New Jersey's open spaces, waterways, farms and historic sites for our quality of life today, and for future generations.

 


  • Latest News

    State Lawmakers Warn Christie to Keep His Hands off Open-Space Funding

    Tom Johnson (NJ Spotlight) Governor argues that money set aside for preservation programs can be used to pay for salaries and maintenance at state parks. The Legislature yesterday gave final approval to a bill that would allocate more than $140 million to fund long-stalled open-space and farmland preservation projects, setting up a possible confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie.  The bill (S-969) easily passed without debate in the Assembly, but it differs in one key aspect from how the governor wants to spend money from a 2014 ballot initiative that authorized using a portion of corporate business taxes for land-preservation program.
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    Expend Open Space Funds the Way Voters Intended

    Voters chose once again to overwhelming support preservation of New Jersey’s last remaining and precious open spaces, waterways, parks, farms and historic sites. In November, 65 percent of voters approved Public Question 2, dedicating a portion of existing corporate business tax revenues (CBT) to fund the now-depleted Green Acres, Blue Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation programs. It is now time to ensure those funds are distributed according to the voter’s intent. Unfortunately, Gov. Chris Christie’s budget calls for using $20 million of voter-approved CBT funds to pay for over 300 state park management staff. Park management staff are critical to keeping New Jersey’s parks safe and open to the public, and those staff should be supported through the general fund as they have been in the past. Sens. Bob Smith, Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman John McKeon have introduced legislation that takes a reasonable approach to allocating the limited funds available for preservation and stewardship for the next four years. Funding levels will rise in 2019 when the portion of existing CBT revenues dedicated increases from 4 percent to 6 percent, and as CBT revenues grow over time.
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