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Legislature Passes Lesniak Measure To Create Fund To Pay Down State Debt

TRENTON – Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak that would create a fund dedicated to paying down debt and funding capital construction projects.

“We’re focusing here on the long-term financial health of the Garden State,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “New Jersey is severely limited in our ability to invest in needed infrastructure improvements because of our long-term debt. This fund will help us make those investments while paying down more of our debt.”

The bill, S-2052, would establish the “Long Term Obligation and Capital Expenditure Fund.” Under the bill, any moneys deposited into the Fund could only be used for capital improvements, retiring and defeasing debt, or meeting unfunded pension liabilities.

“This fund allows the State to set aside non-recurring revenues and dedicate them towards the long-term financial well-being of the State. It sets us down a path towards getting out from underneath our stifling debt,” added Senator Lesniak.

The bill would also appropriate $684 million in surplus funds from the FY08 Budget. $650 million of that amount would be dedicated to retiring and defeasing debt while the remaining $34 million would be allocated to 11 capital investment projects across the State.

The bill was passed by a vote of 37-0 and awaits final action by the Assembly before going on the Governor for his signature.

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