Building Our Future Bond Act
NJEA supports S-2500 (Sweeney, Kean) entitled the “Building Our Future Bond Act,” which authorizes the issuance of $750,000,000 in State general obligation bonds. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to provide grants to New Jersey’s public institutions and independent institutions of higher education to construct and equip higher education facilities.
The bill requires public research universities and State colleges and universities and county colleges which receive capital project grants to provide institutional funds in an amount to support 25% of the cost of the project. NJEA appreciates and supports the amendment which allows county colleges to provide 25% of the cost of the project.
Now is the time for this bond referendum for several reasons:
- It has been over 20 years since the state has had a capital improvement bond for higher education. In the meantime, costs of improvement projects have been passed along to students through tuition increases and to taxpayers through increases in county property taxes.
- Our county colleges and four year institutions are bursting at the seams with tremendous increases in student populations. We need the appropriate infrastructure to support this growth.
- For many years the state has witnessed a “brain drain” as many NJ students are leaving the state to attend college elsewhere. This impacts on quality of life issues and tax revenues. Strengthening our higher education infrastructure will go a long way in keeping our students home in New Jersey.
- Finally, during these difficult economic times, it is necessary for government to spur economic growth through capital projects such as this. General obligation bonds for $750,000,000 will provide jobs and help reduce unemployment.
For all these reasons, NJEA urges you to vote “yes” on S-2500.