Bill Text: NJ S2862 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Allocates 10 percent of Green Acres funding to local government units for development of completely inclusive playgrounds.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2018-08-27 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee [S2862 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S2862-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2862

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED AUGUST 27, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Allocates 10 percent of Green Acres funding to local government units for development of completely inclusive playgrounds.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning development by local government units of completely inclusive playgrounds for recreation and conservation purposes, and amending P.L.2016, c.12.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 6 of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-48) is amended to read:

     6.    a.  The State Treasurer shall establish a fund to be known as the "Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund" and shall deposit into the fund all moneys received pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of section 5 of this act and any other moneys appropriated by law for deposit into the fund.

     Moneys in the fund shall be invested in permitted investments or shall be held in interest-bearing accounts in those depositories as the State Treasurer may select, and may be invested and reinvested in permitted investments or as other trust funds in the custody of the State Treasurer in the manner provided by law.  All interest or other income or earnings derived from the investment or reinvestment of moneys in the fund shall be credited to the fund.  Moneys derived from the payment of principal and interest on the loans to local government units authorized by this act shall also be held in the fund.

     b.    Of the amount deposited each State fiscal year into the Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of section 5 of this act:

     (1)  55 percent shall be allocated for the purpose of paying the cost of acquisition and development of lands by the State for recreation and conservation purposes, and the amount provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be allocated as follows:

     (a)   50 percent shall be allocated for the purpose of paying the cost of acquisition of lands by the State for recreation and conservation purposes; and

     (b)  50 percent shall be allocated for the purpose of paying the cost of development of lands by the State for recreation and conservation purposes, and of the amount provided pursuant to this subparagraph:

     (i)   up to 22 percent shall be allocated for the purpose of paying the cost for stewardship activities undertaken on lands administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the department; and

     (ii)  up to 22 percent shall be allocated for the purpose of paying the cost for stewardship activities undertaken on lands administered by the Division of Parks and Forestry in the department;

     (2)  38 percent shall be allocated for the purposes of providing grants and loans to assist local government units to pay the cost of acquisition and development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, and of this amount, up to 2 percent shall be allocated for stewardship activities undertaken by local government units , and 10 percent shall be allocated for the development of completely inclusive playgrounds, including the retrofit of existing playgrounds as completely inclusive playgrounds, by local government units ; and

     (3)  7 percent shall be allocated for the purposes of providing grants to assist qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations to pay the cost of acquisition and development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, and of this amount, 11 percent shall be allocated for stewardship activities undertaken by qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations.

     c.    Any repayments of the principal and interest on loans issued to local government units for the acquisition or development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes using constitutionally dedicated CBT moneys shall be deposited into the Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund, and shall be specifically dedicated for the issuance of additional loans in the same manner as provided in subsection b. of section 27 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-27).

     d.    (1) The moneys in the fund are specifically dedicated and shall be used for the same purposes and according to the same criteria and provisions as those set forth in section 26 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-26), and as provided pursuant to this act.

     (2)  Grants and loans issued to local government units and grants issued to qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations using constitutionally dedicated CBT moneys for the acquisition and development of lands for recreation and conservation purposes shall be subject to the same provisions as those prescribed in section 27 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-27), except as otherwise provided in section 10 of this act.

     e.    Moneys in the fund shall not be expended except in accordance with appropriations from the fund made by law.  Any act appropriating moneys from the Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund shall identify any particular project or projects to be funded by the moneys, and any expenditure for a project for which the location is not identified by municipality and county in the appropriation shall require the approval of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor, except as permitted otherwise in accordance with the same exceptions as those specified in paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 23 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-23).

     f.     Unexpended moneys due to project withdrawals, cancellations, or cost savings shall be returned to the fund.

     g.    Of the amount authorized pursuant to this section, not more than five percent shall be utilized for organizational, administrative and other work and services, including salaries, equipment and materials necessary to administer the applicable provisions of this act.

     h.    To the end that municipalities may not suffer a loss of taxes by reason of the acquisition and ownership by the State of lands in fee simple for recreation and conservation purposes, or the acquisition and ownership by qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations of lands in fee simple for recreation and conservation purposes that become certified as exempt from property taxes pursuant to P.L.1974, c.167 (C.54:4-3.63 et seq.) or similar laws, the State shall make payments annually in the same manner as payments are made pursuant to section 29 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-29).

     i.     The State shall not use the power of eminent domain in any manner for the acquisition of lands by the State for recreation and conservation purposes using constitutionally dedicated CBT moneys in whole or in part unless a concurrent resolution approving that use is approved by both Houses of the Legislature; except that, without the need for such a concurrent resolution, the State may use the power of eminent domain to the extent necessary to establish a value for lands to be acquired from a willing seller by the State for recreation and conservation purposes using constitutionally dedicated CBT moneys in whole or in part.

(cf: P.L.2016, c.12, s.6)

 

     2.    Section 10 of P.L.2016, c.12 (C.13:8C-52) is amended to read:

     10.  a.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 27 of P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-27) to the contrary, a grant by the State for lands acquired or developed for recreation and conservation purposes by a local government unit in a municipality eligible to receive State aid pursuant to P.L.1978, c.14 (C.52:27D-178 et seq.) shall be for 75 percent of the cost of acquisition or development of the lands by the local government unit, except that the department may authorize an increase in the State's share of the cost up to 100 percent of the allowable funding cap established by the department upon a demonstration of special need or exceptional circumstances.

     b.    A local government unit or a qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organization may use a grant or loan received pursuant to this act for recreation and conservation purposes for the construction of a community garden, provided that public access to the lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes is not limited by the community garden.

     c.    A grant by the State to a local government unit that is not a municipality eligible to receive State aid pursuant to P.L.1978, c.14 (C.52:27D-178 et seq.) for development of a completely inclusive playground, including the retrofit of an existing playground as a completely inclusive playground, by the local government unit shall be for 50 percent of the cost of development of the playground.

(cf: P.L.2016, c.12, s.10)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that 10 percent of the Green Acres funding provided for grants and loans to fund local government open space acquisition and development projects would be allocated as grants for the development of completely inclusive playgrounds by local government units.

     The "Preserve New Jersey Act" implements the constitutional dedication of corporation business tax (CBT) revenues for open space, farmland, and historic preservation.  For State fiscal years 2017 through 2019, the act provides that of the 60 percent of dedicated CBT revenues allocated each year for the Green Acres program:  55 percent shall be used for State open space acquisition and development projects; 38 percent shall be used for grants and loans to fund local government open space acquisition and development projects; and 7 percent shall be used for grants to fund open space acquisition and development projects undertaken by qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations.  Currently, the Green Acres program requires all development projects to comply with all applicable federal and State requirements of the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" and "barrier free" codes. 

     This bill would provide that of the funding for local government open space acquisition and development projects, 10 percent would be allocated as grants for the development of completely inclusive playgrounds, including the retrofitting of existing playgrounds, by local government units.  The bill further provides that a grant by the State for development of a completely inclusive playground by a local government unit that is not an urban aid municipality would be for 50 percent of the cost of development of the playground. 

     This bill is essentially tied to Assembly Bill No. 2187 (1R) (currently awaiting action by the Governor), to be known as "Jake's Law," which would require the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Education, to adopt rules and regulations for the design, installation, inspection and maintenance of completely inclusive playgrounds.  A2187 (1R) defines "completely inclusive playground" as a playground designated for public use for children two to five years of age or five to twelve years of age, that meet certain accessibility requirements.  A2187 (1R) also would require the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to prioritize any application submitted by a county seeking to acquire or develop lands for recreational and conservation purposes using Green Acres funds, provided that the Green Acres funds requested by the county are to be used for the design and construction of an inclusive playground.  

     This bill would provide that a portion of Green Acres funds be specifically allocated for the development of completely inclusive playgrounds by counties and municipalities.

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