Singleton Bill to Ensure Development Projects Benefit Local Communities Approved by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singleton to ensure that the needs of local communities are addressed and met by developers that are benefiting from state subsidies was released Monday by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

“Developers that are benefitting from state subsidies should be able to return the favor and ensure that the local community also benefits,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Often times a development project will be met with resistance from residents who feel they’ve been left out of the process, and denied work and business opportunities. This agreement holds developers accountable, gives residents a seat at the table and ensures a return on the state’s economic investment.”

The bill (A-388) would authorize any political subdivision within the state, when entering into an economic development subsidy granting more than $100,000 to a developer, to condition the grant proceeds upon the grantee’s promise to enter into a community benefits agreement. The bill defines “community benefits agreement” to mean a legally binding contract concerning a specific project which requires contractors and developers of the project to make specific contributions for the benefit of the community including, but not limited to, provisions related to local hiring, area wage and benefits standards, or engaging local businesses for the provision of goods and services.

The bill would take effect immediately.