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

NJ Keep It Green, the state's largest coalition of conservation and historic preservation organizations, applauds the NJ Senate for voting with unanimous bipartisan support to approve implementing legislation. This bill ensures that corporate business tax (CBT) revenues constitutionally dedicated to preservation and stewardship of New Jersey's land, water and historic resources last fall, are used as intended by the voters. S2769 would provide predictable, reliable and transparent distribution of CBT revenues between the Green Acres, farmland and historic preservation programs going forward. NJ Keep It Green urges the NJ Assembly to vote on the bill and then send it to Governor Christie to sign into law. S2769 is sponsored by Senators Smith, Bateman, and Barnes, and the Assembly bill is A4197.

"Today's unanimous approval of this bill brings us one step closer to ensuring the 2014 voter approved funds are used by the State of New Jersey, distributed to counties, municipalities, and nonprofits to preserve and care for the last remaining open spaces in the Garden State," said Ed Potosnak, NJ KIG Chair. "Until the Assembly acts and the legislation is signed into law, none of the voter-approved money will be invested in critically important preservation work," 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. "S2769 will allocate vital funding for the depleted Green Acres, parks, farmland and historic preservation programs and represents a thoughtful approach to apportioning the limited funds the State has available for many important environmental programs. This bill is a fair compromise which was developed through a lengthy, deliberative and inclusive process and we are grateful for the strong bipartisan leadership of Senators Smith and Bateman," Kelly Mooij, NJ KIG Coordinator.

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