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NJ lawmakers consider open space funding proposals

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Competing proposals that would ask New Jersey voters to fund land purchases will be considered during separate hearings in the Senate and Assembly on Thursday.

The Senate Environment Committee will consider a resolution dedicating a portion of the state sales tax to fund open space acquisitions for 30 years.

The resolution changing the constitution needs voter approval.

If allowed, up to $200 million a year would be directed to keep land from being developed.

The Assembly Budget Committee will consider asking voters to approve $200 million to fund the open space.

Voters have consistently supported borrowing to fund the program.

They also have been asked once to approve a 10-year funding plan through sales tax revenues, which they approved in 1998.

The fund is now out of money.