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Governor Signs Lesniak Measure To Create Fund To Pay Down State Debt

TRENTON – Governor Jon S. Corzine signed legislation sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak that would create a fund dedicated to paying down debt and funding capital construction projects.

“No longer can we afford to just get by year after year by only focusing on the short-term finances of New Jersey,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “Quite frankly, we need to start paying down our state debt in order to free up funds for much needed investment in our infrastructure. This legislation creates the mechanism for us to do just that”

The new law, formerly bill S-2052, establishes the “Long Term Obligation and Capital Expenditure Fund.” The law requires that any moneys deposited into the Fund to only be used for capital improvements, reducing debt, or meeting unfunded pension liabilities.

“This fund moves us away from using non-recurring revenues to balance the budget, instead dedicating those funds towards getting us out from underneath our stifling debt. It’s the kind of fiscal restraint that has been missing in New Jersey for many years,” added Senator Lesniak.

The bill appropriates $684 million in surplus funds from the FY08 Budget. $650 million of that amount will be used to reduce debt while the remaining $34 million will be allocated to 11 capital investment projects across the State.

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