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Spencer Bill to Issue $200 Million Bond to Acquire Land for Recreation, Preservation Purposes Clears Assembly Panel

Bond question would have to be approved by voters in next general election

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Chair Grace Spencer (D-Essex) to ask voters to authorize a $200 million bond to acquire and develop land for recreation and conservation purposes was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“New Jersey is often stereotyped as congested and gritty, and while we do have some of that, we also have plenty of natural beauty that must be nurtured and protected,” said Spencer. “This bond would help not just maintain that careful balance between development and preservation; it would help support the state’s agritourism industry as farms and wineries become popular tourist destinations.”

The bill (A-4541), entitled the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2014,” authorizes the issuance of $200 million in state general obligation bonds for acquiring and developing lands for recreation and conservation purposes, preserving farmland, and funding historic preservation projects and “Blue Acres” projects.

The bill provides that the bond act is to be submitted to the people for approval at the general election to be held at least 70 days after enactment, and appropriates $5,000 to the Department of State for expenses in connection with the publication of the public question.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee.