SENATE BILL NO. 1189
To the Senate:
Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I herewith return Senate Bill No. 1189 (First Reprint) without my approval.
This bill would permit county improvement authorities to undertake economic development activities, including the issuance of qualified small issue bonds (commonly referred to as industrial revenue bonds). I applaud the sponsors of this measure for their desire to promote economic development in the State. I likewise believe that promotion of economic development is vital, as is a comprehensive plan for economic development in the State. There exists a need to more closely coordinate and maximize the efficiency of programs for economic growth that are now spread among more than a dozen State agencies and departments. It is for these reasons that at the outset of my Administration, I created the Office of Economic Growth within the Governor’s Office. The Office is charged with overseeing the development and implementation of a strategic plan for New Jersey and coordinating the State’s economic development efforts across all sectors and departments. Indeed, the Office has just issued a comprehensive and State-driven strategy that is designed to ensure that all cities and counties enjoy the benefits of economic growth. In this context, a devolution of bonding and related economic development authority to county improvement authorities, as provided for in this bill, would result in a further fragmentation of authority at a time when we are seeking better strategic decision-making through a consolidated approach.
Accordingly, for the reasons described above, I am returning Senate Bill No. 1189 (First Reprint) without my approval.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ Stuart Rabner
Chief Counsel to the Governor