TRENTON – Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic) issued the following statement on the restoration of $47 million to Urban Enterprise Zones in the Democratic budget plan passed today by a vote of 23-15:
“Ending the UEZ program would have been the nail in the coffin for dozens of our most challenged communities that rely on this funding to spur redevelopment and promote economic growth. This restoration will provide municipalities with revenue to invest in our downtowns at a time when it’s so desperately needed.
“Going forward, we need to take another look at how we can improve this program and ensure more accountability in the process. There is no doubt that some UEZs create more economic development than others. We need to use those UEZs as models and create a more productive program for the future. I intend to work with Republicans, Democrats and our governor to do so.”