Panel advances agriculture board bill

TRENTON — Assemblyman Parker Space’s bill to create alternate members on county agriculture development boards earned unanimous approval from the Assembly agriculture committee today.
The bill adds an alternate member from the farming community and one from the general public to sit on the board, participate in discussions, and vote if a member is absent or cannot vote. County boards include seven voting members appointed by the freeholders — four with farming backgrounds and three representing the public.
“This makes the boards more functional and efficient,” said Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Members are often prevented from voting because of conflicts of interest or unable to attend meetings. Alternates will help the boards reach quorums, move agendas, and perform their duties under the Agricultural Retention and Development Act.”