Future college funding act relies on N.J. voters

New Jersey voters will decide on Election Day whether or not the state will grant colleges extra funding.

The state would grant $750 million to institutions of higher education through the Building our Future project if the Public Question 1 is passed on Nov 6.

“Committed to investing in the future of New Jersey’s education, the Building our Future Act establishes a referendum on the November ballot seeking public approval for a $750 million investment to fund higher education capital projects in New Jersey,” said Seton Hall representative for the project and Vice President of Student Government Association Mario Costa. “The initiative maintains broad political support from legislative leadership of both parties and Governor Chris Christie.”

Costa also said that the money coming from the state will be used to “create bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $750 million to provide matching grants to New Jersey’s colleges and universities.”

According to the BOF website, New Jersey is one of five states in the country that have not invested in their higher learning institutions in the past five years. Other states include Alabama, Montana, Maine and Wisconsin.

“As a result, our higher education institutions are in desperate need of upgrades,” the website said.

With extra funding, schools will be able to not only make renovations to buildings and invest in new technology, but it will go to creating new jobs, according to Costa.

“A study put forth by Rutgers, once our rival but now our ally in the campaign, found that nearly 10,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs will be created as a result of the BOF bond being passed, including millions in new tax revenue,” he said. “Obviously while the money released will benefit students across the state, it will aid in the economic recovery process of New Jersey.”

According to the website, BOF is also committed to helping in the research of building constructions of renewable energy in college and university campuses.

“The Bond Act will allow for the construction of cutting-edge facilities that attract the kinds of innovations that lead to start-ups in biotech, computing and energy which will power our economy into the future,” the website said.

If passed, the BOF act would take effect as soon as January 2013, according to Costa.

He also said that while there have been similar acts for education, the BOF project is the first of its kind in the nation if passed.

Costa said he sees the BOF act as a step in the right direction in terms of bringing parties together.

“I believe in the saving power of this act not only for us students, but for the greater good across the state,” he said. “Not only will this act foster the growth of educational institutions, it will promote economic growth and embody the progress that can be made through bipartisanship.”

For more information, visit www.buildingourfuturenj.com.

Tiffany Do can be reached at tiffany.do@student.shu.edu.

Author: Tiffany Do

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