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Bill Package Dedicated to Farmland and Historic Site Conservation Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Fighting to protect New Jersey’s farmland and historic sites, Assembly Democrats sponsored a series of bills appropriating constitutionally dedicated corporate business tax (CBT) revenues to preserve the state’s farms and historic sites. The bills cleared the full Assembly Monday.

The first bill (A-4733), sponsored by Assembly Members Adam Taliaferro, Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, appropriates $15,000,000 from CBT revenues to the State Agricultural Development Committee for municipal planning incentive grants for farmland preservation purposes. The bill passed 79-0-0.

“New Jersey’s farmlands are the foundation for a strong agricultural industry and a way of life for generations of farm families”, said Taliaferro (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Farmland preservation is a key component for our agriculture industry to sustain itself and for it to continue to be a pillar of our state’s economy.”

“The 20 municipalities receiving grants are reliant upon the agriculture industry and must have adequate farmlands in order to thrive,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “These funds will allow for farmers to build upon an industry which has remained a key part of our state’s economic sector for years to come.”

“Our agriculture industry has been a way of life for generations of New Jerseyans. It is one of the backbones of New Jersey,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “It is our responsibility to provide the municipalities most dependent upon this industry with the resources necessary to keep our farmlands beautiful and functional.”

The second bill, (A-4734), which is sponsored by Assemblymen Bruce Land, Adam Taliaferro and Raj Mukherji, allocates $1,190,349 for CBT revenues to the New Jersey Historic Trust for the purpose of providing historic site management grants. The bill advanced by a 77-0-1 vote.

“New Jersey is incredibly rich in history,” said Land (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “We have historic sites dating back to some of the most critical moments of our nation’s founding and beyond, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they remain well-maintained for years to come.”

“New Jersey played a key role, not only the American Revolution, but in the progression of our nation as a whole, and we have the sites to prove it,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “By conserving these amazing historic sites, we are paying tribute to the New Jerseyans of the past who paved the way for us and ensuring that our history is not forgotten.”

The third bill (A-4735), sponsored by Assemblymen Houghtaling, Anthony Verrelli and Taliaferro, appropriates $1,591,000 from CBT revenues to the State Agriculture Development Committee for Grants to certain nonprofits dedicated to land conservation. The bill advanced 79-0-0.

“The work nonprofits do in keeping New Jersey’s farmlands in pristine condition cannot be stressed enough,” said Verrelli (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “They are a key reason for the success of our agriculture industry, and supporting these organizations will benefit all New Jerseyans.”

A-4733 and A-4735 now head to the governor’s desk and A-4734 advances to the Senate.