Terming it a vital piece of legislation, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine visited Montclair State University on July 30 to talk about the recently enacted New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 and its effect on the state’s public colleges and universities.
The bill, which the Governor signed into law on July 27, provides for grants for campus development and gives state higher education institutions a new way to finance projects. Because of the new legislation, colleges and universities may now enter into public-private partnerships, allowing private developers to construct campus facilities.
Joined by Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole, Kean University President Dawood Farahi, State Senator Ray Lesniak, State Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Montclair State University Board of Trustees member Carlos Ortiz, and student trustee Louis Castano, the Governor stressed the importance of the bill as a tool to allow the institutions to build the facilities they need.
“It is essential that we give the tools…to our state universities to let them have access to capital,” said the Governor. “We are creating that vehicle [to] allow for the public/private partnerships to deal with the needs we’re creating and recognize are necessary for our future.”
Noting that while Montclair State has close to 18,000 students, only about 3,600 of them will be in residence halls, President Cole said “That is why the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 is so critical to our state, and that is why I and my colleagues are so incredibly grateful to Governor Corzine, Senate President Codey, Speaker Roberts, Senators Lesniak and Whelan, and Assemblyman Coutinho for their support and their efforts in securing this legislation.”
The proceedings were enlivened by dozens of cheering, sign-holding students from Montclair State and Kean who thanked the Governor for his support of the legislation. Montclair State students Kaitlin Mooney, Jack Stovall, Jessica Spera, and Arriel Miles related their personal experiences with housing and expressed their gratitude for the legislation. “This bill will help make life a lot easier for future Montclair students,” said Miles. “I just want to thank the legislators and Governor Corzine for this bill.”
Read President Cole's full remarks at Office of the President.
See more photos from the press conference.