NJ Assembly Approves Bill with Bipartisan Support to Allocate Voter Designated Open Space, Farmland, and Historic Preservation Funding

NJ Keep It Green, the state's largest coalition of conservation organizations, celebrates the NJ Assembly's bipartisan passage of implementing legislation for land preservation and stewardship, A4197/S2769. This bill ensures that corporate business tax (CBT) revenues constitutionally dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey's land, water and historic resources in November 2014, are used as intended by the voters.

The NJ Senate passed S2769, the companion bill, with unanimous bipartisan support in December 2015. "With Governor Christie's signature, this law will provide predictable, reliable and transparent distribution of CBT revenues between the Green Acres, farmland, and historic preservation programs going forward. NJ Keep It Green encourages Governor Christie to sign this legislation so the important work of preserving the last remaining open spaces in the Garden State can continue," said Kelly Mooij, KIG Coordinator.

"This 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. "We urge Governor Christie to sign these bills into law so that the critically important voter-mandated work of protecting New Jersey's open spaces, farmland, and historic areas can continue," Potosnak concluded.

In November 2014, 65 percent of NJ voters approved Public Question 2 which 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. 

"We are grateful for the thoughtful bipartisan guidance of Assembly Members Andrzejczak, McKeon, Spencer, Pintor Marin and Dancer as well as the leadership of Speaker Prieto in moving this measure forward at a critical time. The bill provides reduced, but stable annual funding for the depleted Green Acres, farmland and historic preservation programs. This legislation was developed through a lengthy, deliberative and inclusive process and we are grateful for actions of this body to continue support these legacy programs." said Kelly Mooij, NJ KIG Coordinator. 

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