Governor Christie today signed a bill that would surrender authority over Liberty State Park to the newly formed Meadowlands Regional Commission, leaving the park susceptible to potential future development.
Christie will consider follow-up legislation by the bill’s sponsors—Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus and Senator Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge—to address “concerns with the bill in its current form.”
In a statement, Friends of Liberty State Park expressed their dismay with the decision.
“Governor Christie should have conditionally vetoed A3969 and totally removed the LSP language. The public’s voice in the last few weeks and the broad public consensus throughout park history has been for a free non-privatized/non-commercialized park behind Lady Liberty as a legacy to future generations.”
However, the group holds out hope that better protections will soon be put in place.
“The Friends of LSP are pleased that the bill’s sponsors, Asm Prieto and Sen Sarlo called LSP a special part of our American heritage and pledged to introduce will new legislations that will clarify that the DEP still owns the park and that the commission can only review LSP plans. The public should have the opportunity to express themselves on the language in the new bill before it is finalized. We are also pleased that the Govenor acknowledged signing an ‘imperfect bill’.”