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Poll: What's Gov. Brendan Byrne's Most Lasting Legacy in Garden State?

Income taxes or casino gambling? Or maybe it was the former Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands

Former Gov. Brendan Byrne reached the ripe old age of 90 this week, and a crowd of politicos and policymakers (and mavens) spent $500 a plate to give him a posh party -- half roast, half tribute -- at NJ PAC.

Gov. Chris Christie was on hand as MC, joined by five former governors who praised Byrne's political strength, his renowned sense of humor, and even a few of his policy initiatives from way back when he served as the state's chief exec, from 1974 to 1982.

For those of our readers who can remember that long ago, what do you think Byrne will be best known for?

  • Preserving 1.1 million acres of South Jersey wilderness through the Pinelands Protection Act of 1979.

  • Enacting the state's first income tax in 1976 to pay for school funding.

  • Initiating the first public financing of state gubernatorial elections.

  • Bringing casino gambling to Atlantic City with the1976 Casino Control Act.

  • Achieving the short-lived honor of having a sports arena named after him -- before the state started selling naming rights to the highest bidder.

  • You're kidding right? Thirty-five years ago I had just graduated from sleeping in a crib.

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