New Jersey Open Space Preservation Funding Amendment, Public Question No. 2 (2014)
The measure would also end the current dedication of 4 percent of corporate business tax revenues to environmental programs.
The proposed amendment was introduced into the New Jersey Legislature by Sen. Bob Smith (D-17), Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-16) and Rep. John McKeon (D-27) as Senate Concurrent Resolution 84 and Assembly Concurrent Resolution 130.
Text of measure
The proposed ballot text reads as follows:
|“||CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT DEDICATING STATE FUNDS FOR OPEN SPACE, FARMLAND, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION, AND CHANGING EXISTING DEDICATION FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS AND HAZARDOUS SITE CLEANUPS
Do you approve amending the Constitution to dedicate 6% of the Corporation Business Tax revenue each year for the next 30 years? The dedication would be for the preservation of open space, farmland, and historic sites. The amendment would end the current dedication of 4% of that revenue for environmental programs. In addition, the amendment dedicates natural resource damages and fines to fund underground storage tank removals and cleanups and polluted site cleanups?
The interpretative statement reads as follows:
This constitutional amendment would provide funding for Green Acres and “Blue Acres” projects. The projects preserve open space, farmland, and historic properties. The amendment would dedicate 6% of Corporation Business Tax revenue each year for the next 30 years for these purposes.
The campaign in support of the amendment is being led by New Jersey Keep It Green.
The following officials sponsored the amendment in the legislature:
- Sen. Bob Smith (D-17)
- Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-16)
- Rep. John McKeon (D-27)
- Rep. Grace Spencer (D-29)
- Rep. Gilbert Wilson (D-5)
- Rep. Mila Jasey (D-27)
- Rep. Reed Gusciora (D-15)
- Rep. Thomas Giblin (D-34)
- Rep. Angel Fuentes (D-5)
- Rep. Timothy Eustace (D-38)
- Rep. Celeste Riley (D-3)
- Rep. Daniel Benson (D-14)
- Rep. Raj Mukherji (D-33)
- Rep. Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37)
- Rep. Bonnie Coleman (D-15)
- Rep. Angelica Jimenez (D-32)
- Rep. Herb Conaway (D-7)
- Rep. Carmelo Garcia (D-33)
- Rep. Upendra Chivukula (D-17)
- Rep. Cleopatra Tucker (D-28)
- Rep. Ralph Caputo (D-28)
- Rep. David Wolfe (R-10)
- Rep. Linda Stender (D-22)
- Rep. Sean Kean (R-30)
- Rep. Ronald Dancer (R-12)
- Rep. Nancy Munoz (R-21)
- Rep. Robert Clifton (R-12)
- Rep. Mary Pat Angelini (R-11)
- Rep. Amy Handlin (R-13)
- Rep. Carolina Casagrande (R-11)
- Rep. Holly Schepisi (R-39)
- Rep. Benjie Wimberly (D-35)
- New Jersey League of Conservation Voters
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey
- Energy Plus
- Geoscape Solar
- Green Dawn Solutions, LLC
- Greener New Jersey Productions
- Haddon Township Environmental Commission
- Historic Cold Spring Village
- New Jersey Energy Coalition
- New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs
- Salmon Ventures Ltd.
- Stafford Township Historic Preservaion Commission
- Twin Pine Rod and Gun Club
Eliot Daley, a writer from Princeton, New Jersey, reflected on the state's nickname, "The Garden State." He stated:
|“||Those who only pass through New Jersey may wonder why we would ever call it the Garden State...
Little do they know of the magnificent farmlands and woodlands and wetlands that lie beyond the toll booths. Little do they know of the parks, both rural and urban, of the pinelands, of lakes large and small, of the bucolic shaded towpaths that line our 66 miles of Delaware and Raritan Canal, or the sometimes serene, sometimes tumultuous Delaware River that graces our entire western boundary...
We have a lot to be proud of. Pride not just in the amazing state we call home, but also pride in our own steadfast funding over the years for protecting and conserving what makes New Jersey so special...
But little do those passing through know, either, of the rising threat to these treasures that define us as the Garden State. The money that we voters allocated in past years has enabled us to fund our Green Acres and farmland protection and historic preservation programs, but now it has run out. The money was wisely invested in keeping New Jersey’s open spaces open and clean water clean, and mopping up environmental messes left behind by polluters perhaps heedless of the damage they were doing.
But now, all that prior funding is gone — well spent, to be sure, but gone — and so we must decide either to replenish it or to witness the inexorable decline of what we have worked hard to preserve for ourselves and future generations...
But for anyone who cares about clean water and the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren, the only true option is to refresh the funding for our admirable and exceptionally effective efforts. And we voters will have the chance to do just that at the polls on Nov. 4, when we can vote “Yes” on Public Question 2... 
- Daryn Iwicki, state director of Americans for Prosperity, said, “It’s also amazing how we can find $4 billion in the budget for open space but can’t find the money to make the required payment into our pension system or for tax relief.”
- See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures
|New Jersey SCR 84 (2014)|
|Poll||Support||Oppose||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates and Public Opinion Strategies|
6/17/2014 - 6/19/2014
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the New Jersey Constitution
In New Jersey, proposed constitutional amendments have two ways of achieving ballot access. The New Jersey Legislature can either qualify it with supermajority approval of 60 percent in one legislative session or with simple majorities in two successive sessions.
SCR 84 was introduced on February 27, 2014. SCR was referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. It was reported out of committee on March 17, 2014, by a vote of four to one, and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. It was reported out of that committee and placed on the desks of both the Senate and Assembly on June 5, 2014. Following a June 16 public hearing on the measure, it was passed by the Senate on June 26, 2014, by a supermajority of 36 to 1. It was received in the Assembly on the same day and referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
ACR 130 was introduced on March 13, 2014, and referred to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, as well. Ultimately, the Assembly voted on the Senate version of the measure, and it was approved with a supermajority vote on August 4, 2014. The vote placed the ballot on the 2014 ballot.
June 26, 2014 Senate vote
|New Jersey SCR 84 Senate vote|
August 4, 2014 Assembly vote
|New Jersey SCR 84 Assembly vote|
- myCentralJersey.com, "EDITORIAL: Trenton fails on open space," July 2, 2014
- myCentralJersey.com, "EDITORIAL: Put open space bond on ballot," June 15, 2014
- New Jersey Legislature, "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 84," accessed June 24, 2014
- Politicker NJ, "Smith, Bateman tout bill reallocating corporate tax revenues for open space preservation," June 23, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- New Jersey Keep It Green, "Homepage," accessed September 22, 2014
- New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, "Homepage," accessed June 24, 2014
- New Jersey Keep It Green, "Endorsements," accessed September 22, 2014
- NJ.com, "Opinion: Let's remain the Garden State - Say 'Yes' to preserve New Jersey's open spaces," September 20, 2014
- NBC 40, "Christie rails against open space ballot measure," August 28, 2014
- New Jersey Spotlight, "Bipartisan Coalition Wants Open-Space Question on November Ballot," September 18, 2014
- Open States, "New Jersey SCR 84, 2014-2015 Regular Session," accessed June 30, 2014
- Open States, "New Jersey ACR 130, 2014-2014 Regular Session," accessed June 30, 2014
- NJ.com, "N.J. voters to decide on funding for open space in November," August 4, 2014
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