Senate Passes Republican-Sponsored Legislation Aiding Land Conservation, Preservation and Recreation
A package of three bills sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho, Senator Kristin Corrado and Senator Kip Bateman that would help preserve open space and contribute to the quality of life in New Jersey was endorsed today by the Senate.
The legislation is part of a package of preservation bills funded from constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues.
“The voters have expressed their desire to commit some of the business tax revenue to help preserve open space and farmland which makes our state a more desirable place to call home,” said Oroho (R-24). “Helping protect vast acreage of undeveloped land in our densely populated state is really a quality-of-life issue. These bills affirm that the money is invested wisely and delivers the outcomes New Jersey residents voted for and appreciate.”
Oroho sponsors A-6209/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.
Ten counties will receive “base grants” of up to $2 million under the bill for projects that have been approved by the SADC and the Garden State Preservation Trust.
Corrado is the sponsor of A-6212/S-4148, which 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.
“This investment will support boating and fishing access, camping development and infrastructure improvements on bridges, dams, historic sites and Blue Acres projects on frequently flooded land,” said Corrado (R-40). “We’re delivering on the public’s expressed intention to save land from development.”
Bateman’s legislation (A-6213/S-4155) appropriates almost $50 million to DEP. 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.
“The Preserve New Jersey Act and appropriations like the ones approved today by the Senate and advanced to the Governor for consideration will help safeguard a quality of life worthy of the Garden State moniker for our residents,” said Bateman. “Without programs that help prevent rampant overdevelopment in New Jersey, we will reach a point where our infrastructure cannot support the congestion.”