The Library Board and Foundation are cautiously optimistic about an opportunity for Trenton to help us cross the finish line and build a new library. Our “Plan B” moved one step closer when Governor Christie approved the NJ Library Construction Bond Act in late July, which will appear as Question 1 on the November 7 General Election ballot. This bill will let voters decide if the state should issue $125 million in bonds to benefit NJ libraries. Proceeds of the bonds sales will be used to provide matching grants to public libraries to be used on renovation and construction projects. If NJ voters pass this referendum, the NJ State Library will oversee the grant process.
The NJ Library Construction Bond Act has bi-partisan support of over 50% of the NJ legislature. This referendum is not a tax. The state will repay the bonds out of state revenues and not through local property taxes. Rather, this is an economic bill which will invest in our state and support the economy. Senator Christopher Bateman, (R—Sommerset) was a primary sponsor of the Senate version of this bill. Known as the watchdog of the Senate he said, “I think this is necessary. I really do.”