Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Agriculture & Environment

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Preserving Open Space and Strengthening the Farming Industry jersey corn

 

  • Senator Sweeney and Assemblyman Burzichelli supported the passage of a constitutional amendment to establish a long-term source of sustainable funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s open spaces, parks, waterways, and historic sites. The amendment was passed by voter approval in November of 2014.

 

  • A package of funding initiatives sponsored by Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli, and Assemblyman Taliaferro was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in August of 2017. The bills appropriate more than $40 million for the purposes of farmland preservation and incentive grants at the county and municipal levels. Included in this package is legislation crafted by Assemblymen Taliaferro and Burzichelli that will appropriate funds for grants to four qualifying tax exempt nonprofit organizations for up to 50% of the cost of acquisition of development easements on farmland for farmland preservation purposes, or up to 50% of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC). The allocations and projects listed in this bill have been recommended by the SADC and the Garden State Preservation Trust.  This measure appropriates $2,900,000 from the “2009 Farmland Preservation Fund” to the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) for farmland preservation purposes.

 

  • Assemblyman Burzichelli authored the “New Jersey Rural Microenterprise Act,” a law which will provide for agriculture-related events to be held on preserved farmland if the owner of the land first obtains a permit from the county agriculture development board to hold such an event.

 

  • In an effort to replicate the success of New Jersey’s “Jersey Fresh” program, Assemblyman Taliaferro introduced legislation that would establish the “Jersey Canned Goods Program” and the “Jersey Frozen Foods Program.” The department would adopt policy to promote the sale of canned goods and frozen foods that were made in New Jersey and create a labeling program to identify products as New Jersey agricultural commodities.

 

  • Assemblyman Taliaferro is sponsoring legislation that would expand and promote the use of New Jersey’s Farm Fresh products. The package of bills moving through the legislature would support the expansion of New Jersey’s Farm to School, Farm to Table, and Farm to Restaurant program and establish a Farm to Public Institution of Higher Education program. The legislation would enable the Department of Agriculture to expand its role in the promotion of New Jersey Farm Fresh products in local schools and restaurants. The bills addressing the Farm to Table and Farm to Restaurant programs remain under consideration in committee. However, the measure establishing the Farm to School Coordinating Council was passed and signed into law by the Governor in August of 2017, enabling the Council to begin to examine how to improve and expand this valuable program.

 

  • In an effort to bring awareness to the importance of bugs and insects known as pollinators to both agriculture and the environment of New Jersey, Assemblyman Taliaferro sponsored legislation that would establish a “Healthy Pollinators Task Force.” The Task Force would be charged with studying and recommending strategies for addressing the problem of protecting and bolstering the health of pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies.

 

Promoting South Jersey’s Wine Industry

 

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  • Senator Sweeney and Assemblyman Burzichelli authored a law that allows for the direct shipping of wine to New Jersey consumers. This grants New Jersey residents greater opportunities to enjoy their favorite wines, as well as provide an economic boost to the state’s burgeoning wine industry.

 

  • Assemblyman Burzichelli sponsored a law to promote New Jersey wineries and farms by requiring the Department of Agriculture to post information on its website regarding the location and contact information of wineries and farms in New Jersey. 

 

  • Assemblyman Taliaferro is working on legislation that creates viticulture trail tourist directional signs for the region’s growing wine trails to boost local traffic to wineries and support this emerging tourist industry. The Assemblyman also introduced legislation that would augment the product lines of wineries, allowing them to cater to new tastes and trends like hard cider.

 

  • Assemblyman Burzichelli has introduced legislation that would authorize a winery to operate a salesroom in a municipality that prohibits the retail sale of all alcoholic beverages, including wine, or certain types of wine for consumption on the licensed premises. In the salesrooms, wineries are permitted to sell their products by the bottle or in other original packaging for consumption on or off the premises of the salesroom, and to sell samples of their products for consumption on the premises.


Developing Renewable Wind Energy


Atlantic-Jersey_Wind_Farm

  • Senator Sweeney and Assemblyman Burzichelli worked in 2010 to pass the “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act,” which established an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program, and authorized the Economic Development Agency (EDA) to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities in wind energy zones. This legislation is critical to the Port of Paulsboro project, and will be instrumental in bringing jobs into New Jersey.

 

  • Senator Sweeney is a proponent of New Jersey’s continued admittance into the ten-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). New Jersey’s current membership into RGGI has been suspended by Governor Christie, which mandates that energy producers pay for credits to emit any carbon into the environment.

District Offices

Gloucester County
Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752


Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808
Fax: (856) 339-9626


The Bridgeton Library Satellite Office
1st Tuesday of the month
3 pm - 5 pm
(Note: This is canceled for
November 7, 2017
)
150 East Commerce Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Phone: 856-455-1011