Trenton, NJ – Five bills that appropriate voter-approved funds for open space acquisition, development, and preservation in New Jersey passed with bipartisan, unanimous support in the Assembly Appropriations committee today.
The package includes five bills (A4733/S3180, A4734/S3151, A4735/S3181, A4750/S3209, A4751/S3208), two appropriating roughly $17.5 million for farmland preservation, one appropriating $1.19 million for historic preservation, and two appropriating $18.6 million for State acquisition and development. Members of New Jersey Keep It Green (KIG), the state’s largest coalition of conservation groups fighting to preserve open space, farmland, and historic sites were in Trenton during the voting session.
The funds approved on Monday are the result of the voter-approved constitutional dedication which Keep It Green shepherded in 2014. The bills now await a full vote in the Assembly. Once signed into law they will bring the total of voter dedicated open space funding from the 2014 public question to over $315 million.
Also passed out of committee on Monday was a bill dedicating approximately $8.9 million to the State Agricultural Development Committee for farmland preservation purposes. Of that amount, roughly $3.13 million is from the voter-approved constitutional dedication.