Open Space Preservation Hot Debate Within NJ Legislature During Lame Duck Session

CBS Philly

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — There’s a hot debate going on within the New Jersey legislature during the current lame duck session over how to fund continuing efforts to preserve open space in the state.

No one argues against the goal. But there are two distinct paths to replenish the fund that is now empty. The Assembly wants to float a 200 million dollar bond issue, a traditional approach that some in the senate don’t like.

Atlantic County Democrat Jim Whelan is among those pushing a constitutional amendment, setting aside sales tax revenue over the next 30 years. Voters would have to approve it.

“This would give a stable consistent funding source for open space preservation and stewardship going forward,” Whelan says.

Governor Chris Christie says the sales tax plan would tie his hands and those of future governors. Christie vows to cut spending in areas Democrats would…

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