The Senate Environment and Energy Committee today approved bills sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho, Senator Kristin Corrado and Senator Kip Bateman that will help preserve open space and contribute to the quality of life in New Jersey.
The Senate environment committee approved bills sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho, Sen. Kristin Corrado and Sen. Kip Bateman that will help preserve open space and contribute to the quality of life in New Jersey. (SenateNJ.com)
The measures are part of a package of preservation bills all funded from constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues.
“Protecting undeveloped land in the most densely populated state in the nation is a priority for residents across the state,” said Oroho (R-24). “The voters have expressed their desire to commit some of the business tax revenue to ensure our state remains a desirable place to call home. These bills affirm that the money is invested wisely and delivers the outcomes New Jersey residents expect.”
Oroho sponsors S-4154, which appropriates $18 million to the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) to provide planning incentive grants to counties for up to 80 percent of the cost of acquiring easements for farmland preservation.
Under the bill, 10 counties will receive “base grants” of between $1 and $2 million for projects that have been approved by the SADC and the Garden State Preservation Trust.
Another bill, S-4148, is sponsored by Corrado and appropriates $54.5 million to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for capital projects and park development on lands administered by the department’s Division of Parks and Forestry and Division of Fish and Wildlife.
“We’re delivering on the public’s expressed intention to save land from development,” said Corrado (R-40). “This money will support boating and fishing access, camping development and infrastructure improvements on bridges, dams, historic sites and Blue Acres projects on frequently flooded land.”
Another appropriation of just under $50 million to DEP is made by Senator Bateman’s bill, S-4155.
The bill includes $38.475 million for land acquisition for recreation and conservation purposes, $4.655 million for acquiring lands that are prone to flooding, and $6.8 million to pay administrative costs associated with provisions of the Preserve New Jersey Act passed in 2016.
“Without programs that help prevent rampant overdevelopment in New Jersey, we will reach a point where our infrastructure cannot support the congestion,” said Bateman. “The Preserve New Jersey Act and appropriations like the ones approved today by the Senate environment committee will help safeguard a quality of life for residents worthy of the Garden State moniker.”