Senate Approves Bills to Expand Projects Eligible to Receive Funding
Trenton – Today the Senate approved multiple bills which would amend the projects laid out under the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank’s (NJIB) financial plan for Fiscal Year 2022 as well as provide funding to various historical site preservation projects.
The first bill, S-4078, sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein, would modify the list of projects eligible to receive loans for environmental infrastructure projects from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) for Fiscal Year 2022.
“As we move forward with our goals for a greener and healthier New Jersey, it is imperative that we continually reinvest in our existing environmental infrastructure as well,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This bill would allow the State to give out loans for close to 200 projects, which would help municipalities across the State carry out much-needed updates and maintenance to their infrastructure.”
Under the bill, the NJIB would be authorized to expend up to $1.62 billion, and any unexpended balances from previous authorizations, to provide loans for a total of 182 eligible environmental infrastructure projects for Fiscal Year 2022. Eligible projects include the following: 100 projects on the “Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2022 Clean Water Project Eligibility List,” 64 projects on the “Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2022 Drinking Water Project Eligibility List” and the NJIB will also be authorized to make supplemental loans to 14 additional environmental infrastructure projects.
The second bill, S-4079, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith, would amend current law to alter the list of environmental infrastructure projects approved for long-term funding for Fiscal Year 2022.
“It is critical that we routinely update our State’s infrastructure so that we can avoid major long-term issues,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “With this bill, we would be able to fund many projects throughout the state and ensure that various infrastructure projects are being completed.”
Additionally, the bill would also amend current law to reflect changes in the financial plan of the NJIB, such as, increasing the principal forgiveness cap for certain lead service line projects, adding a Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants program and providing direct grants to water systems that serve fewer than 500 people and do not meet the requirements to qualify for a loan.
The third bill, S-4147, sponsored by Senator Jim Beach and Senator Shirley Turner, would appropriate $16,380,595 from constitutionally dedicated corporation business tax revenues to the New Jersey Historic Trust for grants to use towards certain historic preservation projects and associated administrative expenses.
“New Jersey is fortunate to boast an abundance of historic locations that are critical to the history of both our state and country,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “However, it is important that we are being diligent in ensuring that these sites can be preserved for years to come. With this bill, we will be able to fund the various expenses associated with preservation, guaranteeing that future generations of New Jerseyans can visit these sites and learn their history firsthand.”
Under the bill, New Jersey Historic Trust would provide capital preservation grants for 46 projects, totaling $14,103,890, and historic site management grants for 24 projects, totaling $876,705. In addition, of the funding, $75,000 would be used by the New Jersey Historic Trust for the purpose of “emergency intervention,” to assist historic properties across the State as emergencies arise.
“As time goes on, our historic sites wear down and need repairs to still be functional and structurally sound,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “The funding from this bill will help to preserve 60 historical sites around the state so that they can last for decades and centuries longer. Our historical sites provide a living history for all New Jersey residents to learn from and we must keep that experience alive.”
A fourth measure, SCR-160, sponsored by Senator Richard Codey, would approve the updated Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Plan of the NJIB. Under the resolution, changes to plan would include the amendments of projects reflected in S-4079: increasing the principal forgiveness cap for certain lead service line projects, adding a Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants program and providing direct grants to water systems that serve fewer than 500 people and do not meet the requirements to qualify for a loan.
“These infrastructure projects should have been done years ago, and we cannot delay them from being completed any longer,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “Many of these projects are long overdue and it is time we finally take action. In order to properly fund these projects throughout the state, it is critical that we update the financial plan to mirror the changes made by the NJIB.”
The bills were approved by the Senate by votes of 36-0, 35-0, 35-0 and 35-0.