New law simplifies how state allocates funds to preserve open space

Crystal Springs Preserve, Highlands, wetlands

TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bipartisan bill that determines how the state will allocate constitutionally dedicated funds to preserve open space, farmland and historic structures.

The new law could result in less messy fights over how to dispense a big pot of corporate business tax revenues to fund a wide array of open space projects each year. This year, $155 million will be divvied up among state and local governments and nonprofit groups that annually vie for the money.

The governor signed the legislation (S-2920) without comment on Wednesday. By and large, the law approves a new mechanism of how the funds should be allocated, with farmland and historic preservation projects, as well as conservation nonprofit groups, getting a bigger share than in the past …

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