Senate Environment and Energy Chairman Bob Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset, released the following statement today in response to the New Jersey General Assembly approving SCR-84, a constitutional amendment that would shift an already dedicated earmark of the Corporation Business Tax (CBT) revenue to include funding for open space projects such as Green and Blue Acres, historic and farmland preservation projects:
“Once a farm has been turned into a development of homes, it will never again be a field to grow blueberries, corn or tomatoes. Once we replace a forest with a mall or retail complex, deer and wildlife will never again have those trees as their natural habitat. Simply put, once New Jersey’s open space has been developed, we can’t get it back. That is why it is so important that we take action to preserve New Jersey’s remaining open space, farmland and clean water supply.
“For the first time in decades, the state didn’t make an investment in Green and Blue Acres, or historic and farmland preservation last year. But with the Assembly’s approval today, we are now closer to ensuring that for the next 30 years, open space will be a state priority, defined in our Constitution.
“Thank you to Speaker Prieto and the members of the General Assembly for voting today for open space funds. Now it is time to turn our attention to the people of New Jersey in hopes that they too will support protecting our parks and forests, beaches, rivers and lakes, and farmland for the health and enjoyment of generations to come.”