Greenwald, Green, Milam & Moriarty Bill to Promote Job Creation by Helping Stalled Development Projects Advanced by Panel

(TRENTON) – 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 Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-1338) would extend permit 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 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 would extend the extension period until Dec. 31, 2014, rather than Dec. 31, 2012 as provided under current law. Thus, approvals as defined by the Permit Extension Act of 2008 and in effect on Jan. 1, 2007, would continue to be valid at least until Dec. 31, 2014. The bill also expands the geographical areas in which approvals are extended, and includes additional types of approvals qualifying for the extension.
The bill includes language to make clear that as it pertains to statewide planning areas, the definition of “extension area” shall remain in effect until June 30, 2013, or until such later time as the State Planning Commission revises and readopts New Jersey’s State Strategic Plan and adopts regulations to refine this definition.
The bill also modifies the definition of permit “approval” to specifically include agreements with municipalities, counties, municipal authorities, sewerage authorities or other governmental authorities for the use or reservation of sewerage capacity.
The bill was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.