Passage of bill ensures every child equal benefits and opportunities

Dear Editor: I am pleased to announce that all children in the State of New Jersey, regardless of where they live or local property values, will finally have classrooms which are conducive to learning. Bill S-200, “The Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act,” has passed both houses of the Legislature, and has been signed by the Governor. As a result, each of Hudson County Abbott districts, such as Union City, Jersey City, Hoboken, West New York and Harrison will have their facility construction costs paid for 100 percent by the state at not cost to the local taxpayer. In addition, other municipalities, such as Weehawken and Guttenberg, who receive state approval of their facilities projects will have at least 40 percent of their costs paid for by the state. My hometown of Union City alone will receive $147.3 million from the State of New Jersey in school construction monies, the fifth largest award in the state! Other Abbott district awards include Hoboken, $54 million; Jersey City, $883.8 million and West New York, $77 million. I am also delighted to share with you that this law stipulates that 100 percent of all bonds issued after September 1998 by local school districts to build new facilities or upgrade existing facilities will be reimbursed by the State of New Jersey at 100 percent of their approved costs. This legislation has been years in coming, an uphill battle to preserve and protect the rights of our children and our taxpayers. As the senior Democrat on the Assembly Education Committee, serving for the past seven years, I have been fighting for 100 percent funding for our Abbott districts as well as ensuring that all district receive much needed aid. Finally, our children can receive the same benefits as any other child in the state. The passage of this legislation and the dedication of these funds are great victories for the children of Hudson County and the entire State of New Jersey. Raul “Rudy”Garcia Assemblyman, 33rd District


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