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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

    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.
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    Plans to divvy up state's open-space funds continue to raise a clamor

    There’s the Assembly proposal, the Senate plan, and the administration’s approach -- none of which satisfy all interested parties The discussion on how to spend money from an open-space ballot question approved last November is growing more contentious. The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee narrowly approved on Thursday its own version of a plan to divvy up the money, but it differs in many ways from a bill now moving through the Senate -- as well as from the Christie administration’s proposal in its budget for next year. But it’s not just legislators and the administration that are divided on how to split a smaller amount of money (at least $71million a year compared to as much as $200 million in past years); the environmental community also is at odds as to where the funds should be directed. The version (A-4206) approved by the Assembly committee provides more money for farmland preservation than has been traditionally allocated, less money for stewardship of public lands for nonprofit groups, and not enough money for capital expenditures at state parks, according to critics.
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