Monday, March 23, 2015

Three competing routes to open space funds in NJ

The discussion on how to spend money from an open-space ballot question approved last November is growing more contentious, Tom Johnson writes today in NJ Spotlight.
"The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee narrowly approved on Thursday its own version of a plan to divvy up the money, but it differs in many ways from a bill now moving through the Senate -- as well as from the Christie administration’s proposal in its budget for next year.
"But it’s not just legislators and the administration that are divided on how to split a smaller amount of money (at least $71million a year compared to as much as $200 million in past years); the environmental community also is at odds as to where the funds should be directed.
"The version (A-4206) approved by the Assembly committee provides more money for farmland preservation than has been traditionally allocated, less money for stewardship of public lands for nonprofit groups, and not enough money for capital expenditures at state parks, according to critics"
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