No Assembly open space vote scheduled yet

TRENTON – The Assembly has not scheduled a vote on open space preservation next week but will monitor what happens with Monday’s scheduled Senate vote.

In order for the open space preservation measure to appear on the November ballot the Legislature must act by Aug. 1. The Senate earlier today scheduled a vote for Monday on SCR160, which would use sales tax revenue to support preservation efforts.

Assembly Democrats’ spokesman Tom Hester said Friday that they will monitor what the Senate does and plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, supporters of the measure were pleased.

“The Senate continues to demonstrate tremendous leadership on this issue, and we especially thank Senate President (Steve) Sweeney and Senators (Bob) Smith and (Christopher) Bateman for recognizing the urgency in addressing funding for vital land, water and historic preservation programs this year,” said NJ Keep It Green Chairman Tom Gilbert in a release applauding the scheduling of the vote.

“We strongly urge the Assembly to follow suit without further delay and give New Jersey citizens the chance to vote this November in favor of dedicated funding to protect open space, water supplies and flood-prone areas, farmland and historic sites throughout the state.”

"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato