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Legislation Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald, Jerry Green, Matthew Milam and Paul Moriarty sponsored to promote job creation and economic development by extending the life of development projects stalled by the economic downturn was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-4422) would extend governmental approvals for development projects until Dec. 31, 2014. Current law extends the permits until Dec. 31, 2012.

Projects have stalled due to the inability of the banking, real estate and construction industries to obtain financing in the current economic downturn. The lapse of the permit approvals could cause a decline in the value of real estate involved in the projects, job losses and require a reclassification of loans.

“We want New Jersey businesses struggling to survive this economy to use their vital reDests on job creation, not on applying over and over again for new permits,” said Greenwald (D-Camden), the Assembly budget chairman and incoming-majority leader. “Businesses and workers need to know New Jersey is doing everything it can to help them through this difficult time and keep us competitive with neighboring states. I hope the Governor will join with the Assembly in supporting this job creating bill, especially as New Jersey now lags behind the nation in reducing unemployment.”

“Making it easier for already approved projects to move forward once the economy turns around sends a clear message to workers and businesses that we are positioning New Jersey for economic success,” said Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), the Assembly speaker pro tempore. “We shouldn’t let bureacracy get in the way of job creation and economic development.”

“The economic downturn has had a devastating impact on our building and construction industries and the many, many jobs they support,” Milam said. “Without this help, business may have to pay untold dollars for re-permitting, taking away from their ability to create jobs and move our economy forward.”

“Our focus is on job creation, and that takes many avenues, whether it’s helping avoid layoffs, promoting job training or helping ensure development projects stalled by this economy can stay alive,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “These projects create jobs both during and after construction, so a bill like this is common sense.”

The bill was released by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee chaired by Green.