New Jersey's 16th Legislative District

Senator Kip Bateman

Senator Kip Bateman

Now Law: Bateman Bill Appropriating $59.5 Million for Open Space

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More than $59 million of constitutionally-dedicated funds will be appropriated to preserve open space, build parks, and expand Blue and Green Acres now that legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman has become law.

Signed into Law by Gov. Christie, Sen. Kip Bateman’s bill appropriates $59.5 million of constitutionally dedicated funds to preserve open space, build parks and expand Blue and Green Acres. (Garden State Preservation Trust)

“From the Highlands to the Pinelands, all 21 New Jersey counties have an open space or waterway that will benefit from this appropriation,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Green and Blue Acres programs need a constant source of funding. A one-time payment isn’t enough when there are parks to maintain and natural resources to protect in every corner of our state.

“That’s why I fought three years ago to create a permanent way to fund open space preservation. New Jersey voters came out in full force to support that effort. Today, we are keeping our promise to use those constitutionally dedicated funds as intended.”

Projects that will be funded by the appropriation provided by Senator Bateman’s S-2997 include conservation and recreation improvements at the Delaware and Raritan Canal Greenway, as well as historic sites statewide, including Princeton Battlefield. All projects listed in the bill have been approved by the DEP and the Garden State Preservation Trust.

Senator Bateman was the prime sponsor of a 2014 constitutional amendment that created a permanent funding source to ensure the preservation of New Jersey’s recreation spaces, productive farmland and historic sites. Bateman also penned S-2456, which implemented the constitutionally dedicated funds through Fiscal Year 2019.

S-2997 appropriates $59.532 million of those funds to the DEP for the acquisition by the State of lands for recreation of conservation purposes, including for Blue Acres projects, and for capital projects and park development. The bill was approved by both houses of the Legislature on March 23, 2017 and became law on Monday, May 8, 2017.

For a complete list of projects statewide that will be funded under S-2997, click here.

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