Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman appropriating $9.703 million from constitutionally-dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenue to the NJ DEP for State capital and park development, preservation, conservation, and recreation projects.
"New Jersey is blessed with some of the most beautiful parks in the country, but we cannot keep them that way without funding regular maintenance, let alone build new ones," Senator Bateman (R-16) said. "Using constitutionally dedicated CBT revenue is a voter-approved, fiscally responsible way to expand these preservation projects in every part of our state."
The appropriation authorized by A4211 / S2729 is funded by the "Preserve New Jersey Act," which was made possible by the 2014 voter-approved constitutional amendment that created a longterm funding source for open space preservation.
In June of 2016 Governor Christie signed the "Preserve New Jersey Act" which implemented, for Fiscal Years 2017-2019, constitutionally dedicated CBT revenues for open space, farmland, and historic preservation. Voters overwhelmingly approved dedicating CBT revenues for open space, historic and farmland preservation by voting yes on a public question that appeared on the ballot in November of 2014.
The 2016 "Preserve New Jersey Act" and the 2014 constitutional amendment were also sponsored by Senator Bateman, who has fought to secure funding for open space, park and farmland, and historic preservation in every subsequent state budget.
The projects funded by Senator Bateman's S2729 include bridge repairs, restoration of historical structures, natural habitat improvements, and improving access to certain boating and fishing recreational centers.
"As a lifelong supporter of our State, county, and local parks and a staunch advocate for environmental protection, I will always fight to preserve the green acres, landmarks and natural habitats that make New Jersey the Garden State," Senator Bateman added. "We must safeguard a cleaner, greener future for our children and grandchildren. Funding parkland preservation and upkeep is critical to achieving that goal."