New Jersey Open Space Preservation Funding Amendment, Public Question No. 2 (2014)

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Public Question No. 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Legislature
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
Public Question No. 1
Public Question No. 2
The New Jersey Open Space Preservation Funding Amendment, Public Question No. 2 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would dedicate 6 percent of corporate business tax revenues to open space, farmland and historic preservation. The tax allocation would last from 2016 to 2045. The amendment would require that all natural resource damages and environmental fine revenues be allocated to underground storage tank programs and state-funded hazardous discharge cleanups.[1]

The measure would also end the current dedication of 4 percent of corporate business tax revenues to environmental programs.[1]

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.[2]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The proposed ballot text reads as follows:[1]


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?


Ballot summary

The interpretative statement reads as follows:[1]


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 Green Acres program buys land that protects water supplies and preserves open space. The program funds parks, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood prone or affected areas. It also funds park improvements and facilities.
“Blue Acres” refers to properties that have been damaged by storms or storm related flooding. The program also purchases properties that appear likely to incur such damage, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage. Structures on properties purchased from willing sellers are demolished, the debris is removed, and the land is preserved as open space.
This amendment also would end the current dedication of 4% of Corporation Business Tax revenue. That dedication provides funds for water quality programs, public and private hazardous site cleanups, underground storage tank removal and cleanup, air pollution control equipment for diesel engines, and park improvements and facilities.
Finally, this amendment would dedicate natural resource damages and fines collected from violations of environmental laws for underground storage tank removals and cleanups and State-funded hazardous site cleanups.[3]


NJ Keep It Green logo 2014.jpg

The campaign in support of the amendment is being led by New Jersey Keep It Green.[4]



The following officials sponsored the amendment in the legislature:[1]


  • New Jersey League of Conservation Voters[5]
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey[6]
  • 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... [3]

—Eliot Daley[7]




  • 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.”[9]


See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures
New Jersey SCR 84 (2014)
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample 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.[10]

ACR 130 was introduced on March 13, 2014, and referred to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, as well.[11] 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.[12]

Senate vote

June 26, 2014 Senate vote

New Jersey SCR 84 Senate vote
Approveda Yes 36 97.30%

Assembly vote

August 4, 2014 Assembly vote

New Jersey SCR 84 Assembly vote
Approveda Yes 58 86.57%

See also

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