Open-Space preservation, always an issue in densely-populated New Jersey, faces certain doom as funding for the state's preservation fund responsible for preserving open space, farmland and historic sites is on-the-line.
According to the Asbury Park Press, in order for voters to decide whether to renew the program for another 10 years by dedicating more sales tax money to it, legislative rules say 20 days must pass between committee approval and a full legislative vote. That means if a bill isn't approved by either house's appropriations committee today — and neither is scheduled to meet — it seems unlikely the measure would be approved by the Aug. 6 deadline to make the November ballot, as lawmakers prepare to break for the summer at month's end.
"This is a death knell for open space to be on the ballot this year," said Jeff Tittel, state director for the Sierra Club. "Not only is time running out, but we are running out of open space."
Land preservation seems to be at risk
Open space proponents make 11th-hour plea for money
Groups say the clock is ticking for action on open space funding
Here's the sketch: