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Open Space Funding Held
Date : Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:10:20 -0400
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2013
Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100
Open Space Funding Held
Today the Assembly held off voting on SCR138 (Smith) that would
amend the State Constitution to dedicate $17 billion from sales tax
revenue to open space preservation over 30 years. New Jersey's open
space funding programs are currently broke with the remaining money
already dedicated to projects. Over the last forty years we have
financed open space purchases through voter approved bond acts, the last
of which passed in 2009.
"New Jersey needs to have a stable long term source of funding for open
space.Hopefully the SCR being held today will allow for a sustainable
funding program to be put in place.We need a program that will protect
open space for future generations without cutting other programs.The
funding mechanism should not pit open space versus other environmental
programs," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.
If you add up all the state funding for open space from 1996 to today it
adds up to around $3 billion dollars and that purchased with other
sources about 420,000 acres of land or development rights . So $17
billion was looked on by some in legislative leadership as an overreach.
Some thought the Governor would use this as an excuse to cut other
programs.Bond Acts 1996 $ 345 million, 2007 $ 200 million, 2009 $400
million and the Whitman program was $1.15 billion in bonding and about $
980 million or a little lessas pay as you go.The money we spend in the
program must be designed to meet the needs we have in New Jersey.
"The Christie administration has cut funding for environmental
protection and raided clean energy funds and now has allowed open space
to run out of money.The Legislature needs to protect the environment by
stopping the raids and coming up with a real fix for open space
funding," said Jeff Tittel.
Jeff Tittel concluded, " The Legislature and Governor can come up with
money to subsidize development like the Xanadu mall they can come up
with a funding source for open space. We must make sure that the most
successful government program of the last 50 years continues in a
-- Kate Millsaps Conservation Program Coordinator NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club 609-656-7612 _________________________________________________________ NJ-Sierra-Chapter-Ex-Committee List Info & Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/NJ-EXCOM.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - To view the Sierra Club List Terms & Conditions, see: http://www.sierraclub.org/lists/terms.aspReceived on 2013-06-24 13:10:20
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