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(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela R. Lampitt, Albert Coutinho, Troy Singleton, Herb Conaway M.D. and Paul Moriarty sponsored to extend for 18 months the public-private partnerships that have benefited New Jersey colleges and universities was approved 74-0 Thursday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.
The bill (A-2271) extends the application deadline another 18 months for the submission of project applications to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for review and approval. The application deadline expired on Feb. 1, but it would be extended to August 1, 2013.
“We know this idea works, as evidenced by the successes we’ve already seen,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “Let’s keep this momentum going strong, all the while boosting job creation, economic growth and helping the colleges and universities that are economic engines for our state. This is a true win for everyone involved, most especially the taxpayers.”
The law has helped several colleges pay for new construction. Montclair State University was the first to take advantage, constructing a $211 million residence hall for 2,000 students. Ramapo College is partnering with a private company on a $23 million roof project. The College of New Jersey and Kean University have also been eying plans.
“The success of this program at Montclair State itself has been remarkable, let alone the successes we’ve seen elsewhere,” said Coutinho (D-Essex). “No can argue that this program doesn’t work and that it hasn’t benefited taxpayers, our economy and our colleges and universities. We know it works. Let’s keep it going.”
“This approach has proven itself in a short amount of time, so let’s maintain the progress and the benefits it brings to our economy and taxpayers,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Let’s open the door to even more job creation and economic activity, while strengthening our higher education community.”
This bill grows construction jobs that in turn grow our economy,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “Job creation and economic growth helps our New Jersey families while giving a boost to our valued colleges and universities.”
“We hear so often about programs that don’t work, but we know that this one is a proven success,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Extending the application process for 18 months is a no-brainer considering the many positive benefits that come with these public-private partnerships.”
Specifically, the bill would provide an additional 18 months for a public institution of higher education to submit to the authority for review and approval proposed projects in which a private entity assumes the full financial and administrative responsibility for the on-campus construction, reconstruction, repair, alteration, improvement, or extension of a building, structure, or facility.
The project must be for the benefit of, the institution, and the institution must retain full ownership of the land upon which the project is completed.