NJ Keep It Green, the state's largest coalition of conservation and historic preservation organizations, is disappointed that Governor Christie chose to pocket veto implementing legislation for open space, farmland, and historic preservation funding. With bipartisan support, the NJ Senate and Assembly sent legislation to the Governor's desk that would have ensured that corporate business tax (CBT) revenues constitutionally dedicated by voters in November 2014 for preservation and stewardship of New Jersey's land, water, and historic resources would have been used as intended by the voters.
The bill, S2769/A4197, would have provided predictable, reliable and transparent distribution of CBT revenues between the Green Acres, farmland, and historic preservation programs going forward. NJ Keep It Green will continue to work with the NJ Legislature and encourage the Governor to take action to distribute the voter dedicated preservation and stewardship funds.
"The Governor's decision to pocket veto this bill is extremely disappointing. The bill provides a clear and open process for distributing voter approved funds to state programs, counties, municipalities, and nonprofits to preserve lands that protect our drinking water, grow Jersey Fresh produce, honor our state and national history, and serve as community parks and wildlife habitat," said Ed Potosnak, NJ KIG Chair. "The urgency to release these voter-dedicated funds increases with each passing day and the KIG Coalition will redouble our efforts to support distribution of the funds," Potosnak concluded.
In November 2014, 65 percent of NJ 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.