Senator Lesniak Remarks On Economic Stimulus Legislation Revisions

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the Chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee and author of the “New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009,” a bill hailed as one of the most important economic growth and job creation measures of its time, issued the following remarks prior to a Committee vote on a bill sponsored by the Senator to make revisions to the Economic Stimulus Act today. The bill, S-920, was approved by a vote of 7-0:

“When I sponsored the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act last year, I said it will be the most powerful tool in the nation to encourage new business investment and job creation and that it will enable New Jersey to recover from the nationwide recession and build a strong economy for our residents well into the future.

“S-920 makes some refinements to the NJ Stimulus Act so that two high-powered, job-creating, economy-improving development projects can be completed.

“The Montclair State technical amendments will facilitate the construction of a much needed 2,000 unit housing and dining complex on the campus of one of our leading institutions of higher education, allowing it to provide a quality education for more New Jersey residents in a college campus setting. Additionally, it will put over 1,300 construction workers on the job and bring in $130 million of private investment for New Jersey-based contractors and subcontractors. By making the technical changes contained in S-920 to the NJ Stimulus Act, shovels can be in the ground as soon as the weather permits and the new housing and dining facilities will be ready for Montclair State students in time for the 2011-2012 academic year.

“Additionally, the sunset of the public-private partnership authorization will be deleted.

“The amendment needed by the Revel project in Atlantic City, which will adopt the same provisions with regard to referendums as are contained in the Local Redevelopment Housing Law, will allow for the completion of a new casino with 1,900 hotel rooms, 150,000 square feet of gaming, 35,500 square feet of entertainment space, 170,000 square feet of convention space, 20 restaurants, and 44,000 square feet of beach amenities.

“Scheduled to open in 2011, Revel will make a $2 billion investment for New Jersey contractors and subcontractors and will produce $134 million a year in State and local revenues, not including income and payroll taxes. This investment will create 2,600 construction jobs and 5,500 permanent jobs at the Revel site and another 2,500 construction and permanent jobs from manufacturing vendor, supplier, professional, and consultant work related to the project and its infrastructure, for a total of nearly 11,000 jobs.

“Revel is not just another casino. It’s a $2 billion investment in making Atlantic City a tourist destination, something that must happen for it to compete with new gambling attractions in neighboring states.”

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