(TRENTON) – Legislation to expand the purview of the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) and make changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic received final legislative approval on Friday, passing the Senate 34-0. It previously passed the Assembly in December 79-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The NJIB is an independent State financing authority which supports the construction of environmental and transportation infrastructure projects across New Jersey. This bill (A-5057) would authorize the NJIB to also finance aviation and marine projects, as well as make it easier for NJIB to provide emergency, relief or disaster loans to clean water, drinking water or transportation projects in the event of an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure would also make general changes to the program to make certification requirements more consistent, align loan maturity requirements with federal standards and allow NJIB to sell bonds via negotiated sale without constraint of a failed competitive sale.
Sponsors of the bill, Assembly Democrats Joseph Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset), Shanique Speight (D-Essex) and Adam Taliaferro (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) released the following joint statement:
“The NJIB acts as a vehicle to help get vital infrastructure across the finishing line. Expanding the scope of NJIB programs to include aviation and marine projects will create jobs, boost our economy and strengthen our infrastructure. Also, as we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, our agencies must always be prepared to respond to public emergencies. This bill will ensure the NJIB has the authority and tools it needs to provide relief in times of crisis.”