ASSEMBLY, No. 4269

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 21, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CONNIE WAGNER

District 38 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Emergency Transportation and Water Infrastructure Recovery Bond Act of 2011;” authorizes bonds for $100,000,000.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act authorizing the creation of a debt of the State of New Jersey by the issuance of bonds of the State in the aggregate principal amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of funding emergency repairs and improvements to transportation infrastructure and water infrastructure made necessary by act of God; and providing the ways and means to pay and discharge the principal of and interest on the bonds.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Emergency Transportation and Water Infrastructure Recovery Bond Act of 2011.”

 

     2.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     As it passed through New Jersey on August 27 and 28, 2011, Hurricane Irene – described by the State climatologist as the second most damaging storm in New Jersey’s recorded history after the Great Flood of 1903 – wreaked destruction and despair over huge areas around the State, forcing widespread evacuation of residents and closure of offices and stores, causing more than 900,000 homes and businesses to lose electric power for periods of up to a week, compelling suspension of New Jersey Transit rail service and drastic curtailment of bus service, and closing numerous roads.

     b.    The storm had particular impact on the transportation system, on water delivery and wastewater treatment and disposal facilities, and on flood control and abatement projects throughout New Jersey, washing out roads or undermining their subbases and scouring waterway embankments.

     c.     The urgent need for repairs and improvements to New Jersey’s transportation and water infrastructure, necessitated by the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene and other exceptionally severe storm systems during August and September, 2011, requires that the State assist local governments in funding emergency repairs and improvements to local transportation and water infrastructure, as hereinafter provided.

 

     3.    As used in this act:

     “Bonds” mean the bonds authorized to be issued, or issued, under this act.

     “Combined sewer overflow” means the discharge of untreated or partially treated stormwater runoff and wastewater from a combined sewer system into a body of water.

     “Combined sewer system” means a sewer system designed to carry wastewater at all times, which is also designed to collect and transport stormwater runoff from streets and other sources, thereby serving a combined purpose.

     “Commission” means the New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning.

     “Cost” means the expenses incurred in connection with an emergency transportation infrastructure project identified on the list of such projects approved by the Commissioner of Transportation pursuant to subsection a. of section 23 of this act, or in connection with an emergency water infrastructure project identified on the list of such projects approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection pursuant to subsection b. of section 23 of this act; the execution of any agreements and franchises deemed by the appropriate department to be necessary or useful and convenient in connection with any such emergency transportation infrastructure project or emergency water infrastructure project authorized by this act; the procurement or provision of engineering, inspection, planning, legal, financial, or other professional services, estimates, studies, reports, or advice, including the services of a bond registrar or an authenticating agent; feasibility studies; the issuance of bonds, or any interest or discount thereon; the administrative, organizational, operating, or other expenses incident to the financing and completing of any project authorized by this act; the establishment of a reserve fund or funds for working capital, operating, maintenance, or replacement expenses and for the payment or security of principal or interest on bonds, as the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury may determine; and reimbursement to any fund of the State of moneys which may have been transferred or advanced therefrom to any fund created by this act, or of any moneys which may have been expended therefrom for, or in connection with, any project authorized by this act but excluding any expenses covered by a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant or by insurance payment or reimbursement.

     “Emergency transportation infrastructure project” means a transportation infrastructure project required to be undertaken to meet an emergency caused, directly or indirectly, by the Hurricane Irene weather events of August 2011 or by other acts of God occurring during August and September, 2011.

     “Emergency water infrastructure project” means a water infrastructure project required to be undertaken to meet an emergency caused, directly or indirectly, by the Hurricane Irene weather events of August 2011 or by other acts of God occurring during August and September, 2011.

     “Flood control facility” means a facility for the prevention of flood damage by preserving natural detention areas, by returning such areas to their natural state, by developing warning systems, by constructing or reconstructing storage reservoirs, dikes, diversions, dams, spillways, levees, revetments, drains, ditches, culvert enlargement and replacements, or channel improvements, such as widening, deepening, straightening, clearing, sloping, building, filling in and all other alterations.

     “Government securities” means any bonds or other obligations which as to principal and interest constitute direct obligations of, or are unconditionally guaranteed by, the United States of America, including obligations of any federal agency, to the extent those obligations are unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America, and any certificates or any other evidences of an ownership interest in those obligations of, or unconditionally guaranteed by, the United States of America or in specified portions which may consist of the principal of, or the interest on, those obligations.

     “Stormwater management system” means any equipment, plants, structures, machinery, apparatus, management practices, or land, or any combination thereof, acquired, used, constructed, implemented, or operated by a county or municipal government to prevent nonpoint source pollution, abate improper cross-connections and interconnections between stormwater and sewer systems, minimize stormwater runoff, reduce soil erosion, or induce groundwater recharge, or any combination thereof.

     “Transportation infrastructure project” means the construction, reconstruction, improvement, rebuilding, or relocation of a county or municipal road, including any necessary bridge, tunnel, overpass, underpass, interchange, bus pull-out or turnaround, park-ride facility, access road, traffic circle, grade separation, or traffic control device, and includes the acquisition of property, right-of-way, easement, or interest therein necessary for the project or the maintenance thereof.

     “Wastewater” means residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural liquid waste, sewage, or any combination thereof, or other liquid residue discharged or collected into a sewer system or stormwater management system, or any combination thereof.

     “Wastewater treatment system” means any equipment, plants, structures, machinery, apparatus, or land, or any combination thereof, acquired, used, constructed or operated by a local government unit for any or all of the following: the storage, collection, reduction, recycling, reclamation, disposal, separation, or other treatment of wastewater or sewage sludge; the collection or treatment, or both, of stormwater runoff and wastewater; or the final disposal of residues resulting from the treatment of wastewater, including, but not limited to, pumping and ventilating stations, treatment plants and works, connections, outfall sewers, interceptors, trunk lines, stormwater management systems, and other personal property and appurtenances necessary for their use or operation.

     “Water infrastructure project” means the construction, reconstruction, improvement, rebuilding, or relocation of a county or municipal water supply facility, wastewater treatment system, flood control facility, stormwater management system, or combined sewer overflow abatement facility, and includes the acquisition of property, right-of-way, easement, or interest therein necessary for the project or the maintenance thereof.

     “Water supply facility” means a facility for the purpose of augmenting the natural water resources of the State and making available an increased supply of water for all uses, and any and all appurtenances necessary, useful, or convenient for the collecting, impounding, storing, improving, treating, filtering, or transmitting of water, and for the preserving and protecting of these resources and facilities and providing for the conservation and development of future water supply resources, and facilitating incidental recreational uses thereof.

 

     4.    a.  The Commissioner of Transportation with respect to any emergency transportation infrastructure project, and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection with respect to any emergency water infrastructure project, shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968 c.410 (C.52:14B‑1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act.  The respective commissioners shall review and consider the findings and recommendations of the commission in the administration of the provisions of this act.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, within 90 days after the date of enactment of this act, the Commissioner of Transportation or the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or both of them, may, immediately upon filing proper notice with the Office of Administrative Law, adopt on a temporary basis, rules and regulations as prescribed by subsection a. of this section.  The temporary rules and regulations so adopted shall be in effect for a period not to exceed one year after the date of the filing.  These rules and regulations shall thereafter be adopted, amended, or readopted by the respective commissioners in accordance with the requirements of the "Administrative Procedure Act."

 

     5.    Bonds of the State of New Jersey are authorized to be issued in the aggregate principal amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of providing grants to local government units for the costs of emergency transportation infrastructure projects and emergency water infrastructure projects.  Of this aggregate principal amount:

     a.     $50,000,000 shall be used to provide grants to counties of this State for the costs of emergency transportation infrastructure projects and emergency water infrastructure projects; and

     b.    $50,000,000 shall be used to provide grants to municipalities of this State for the costs of emergency transportation infrastructure projects and emergency water infrastructure projects.


     6.    The bonds authorized under this act shall be serial bonds, term bonds, or a combination thereof, and shall be known as “2011 Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Bonds.”  They shall be issued from time to time as the issuing officials herein named shall determine and may be issued in coupon form, fully‑registered form or book‑entry form.  The bonds may be subject to redemption prior to maturity and shall mature and be paid not later than 35 years from the respective dates of their issuance.

 

     7.    The Governor, the State Treasurer and the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury, or any two of these officials, herein referred to as “the issuing officials,” are authorized to carry out the provisions of this act relating to the issuance of bonds, and shall determine all matters in connection therewith, subject to the provisions of this act.  If an issuing official is absent from the State or incapable of acting for any reason, the powers and duties of that issuing official shall be exercised and performed by the person authorized by law to act in an official capacity in the place of that issuing official.

 

     8.    Bonds issued in accordance with the provisions of this act shall be a direct obligation of the State of New Jersey, and the faith and credit of the State are pledged for the payment of the interest and redemption premium thereon, if any, when due, and for the payment of the principal thereof at maturity or earlier redemption date.  The principal of and interest on the bonds shall be exempt from taxation by the State or by any county, municipality or other taxing district of the State.

 

     9.    The bonds shall be signed in the name of the State by means of the manual or facsimile signature of the Governor under the Great Seal of the State, which seal may be by facsimile or by way of any other form of reproduction on the bonds, and attested by the manual or facsimile signature of the Secretary of State, or an Assistant Secretary of State, and shall be countersigned by the facsimile signature of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury and may be manually authenticated by an authenticating agent or bond registrar, as the issuing official shall determine.  Interest coupons, if any, attached to the bonds shall be signed by the facsimile signature of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury.  The bonds may be issued notwithstanding that an official signing them or whose manual or facsimile signature appears on the bonds or coupons has ceased to hold office at the time of issuance, or at the time of the delivery of the bonds to the purchaser thereof.


     10.  a.  The bonds shall recite that they are issued for the purposes set forth in section 5 of this act; that they are issued pursuant to this act; and that pursuant to subparagraph e. of paragraph 3 of Section II of Article VIII of the State Constitution, this act was not required to be submitted to the people of the State at a general election.  This recital shall be conclusive evidence of the authority of the State to issue the bonds and their validity.  Any bonds containing this recital shall, in any suit, action or proceeding involving their validity, be conclusively deemed to be fully authorized by this act and to have been issued, sold, executed and delivered in conformity herewith and with all other provisions of laws applicable hereto, and shall be incontestable for any cause.

     b.    The bonds shall be issued in those denominations and in the form or forms, whether coupon, fully-registered or book-entry, and with or without provisions for interchangeability thereof, as may be determined by the issuing officials.

 

     11.  When the bonds are issued from time to time, the bonds of each issue shall constitute a separate series to be designated by the issuing officials.  Each series of bonds shall bear such rate or rates of interest as may be determined by the issuing officials, which interest shall be payable semiannually; except that the first and last interest periods may be longer or shorter, in order that intervening semiannual payments may be at convenient dates.

 

     12.  The bonds shall be issued and sold at the price or prices and under the terms, conditions and regulations as the issuing officials may prescribe, after notice of the sale, published at least once in at least three newspapers published in this State, and at least once in a publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily to financial news, published in this State or in the city of New York, the first notice to appear at least five days prior to the day of bidding.  The notice of sale may contain a provision to the effect that any bid in pursuance thereof may be rejected.  In the event of rejection or failure to receive any acceptable bid, the issuing officials, at any time within 60 days from the date of the advertised sale, may sell the bonds at a private sale at such price or prices under the terms and conditions as the issuing officials may prescribe.  The issuing officials may sell all or part of the bonds of any series as issued to any State fund or to the federal government or any agency thereof, at a private sale, without advertisement.

 

     13.  Until permanent bonds are prepared, the issuing officials may issue temporary bonds in the form and with those privileges as to their registration and exchange for permanent bonds as may be determined by the issuing officials.


     14.  a.  The proceeds from the sale of bonds to be used to provide grants to counties as set forth in subsection a. of section 5 shall be paid to the State Treasurer, shall be held by the State Treasurer in a separate fund, and shall be deposited in such depositories as may be selected by the State Treasurer to the credit of the fund, which fund shall be known as the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund.”  Of the amounts held in this fund, $25,000,000 shall be credited to an account for use to pay grants awarded to counties to finance costs of emergency transportation infrastructure projects, and $25,000,000 shall be credited to a separate account for use to pay grants awarded to counties to finance costs of emergency water infrastructure projects.

     b.    The proceeds from the sale of bonds to be used to provide grants to municipalities as set forth in subsection b. of section 5 of this act shall be paid to the State Treasurer, shall be held by the State Treasurer in a separate fund, and shall be deposited in such depositories as shall be selected by the State Treasurer to the credit of the fund, which fund shall be known as the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund.”  Of the amounts in this fund, $25,000,000 shall be credited to an account for use to pay grants awarded to municipalities to finance the costs of emergency transportation infrastructure projects, and $25,000,000 shall be credited to a separate account for use to pay grants awarded to municipalities to finance the costs of emergency water infrastructure projects.

 

     15.  a.  The moneys in the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” and the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” are specifically dedicated and shall be applied to the cost of grants to counties and municipalities, respectively, to pay the cost of emergency transportation infrastructure projects and emergency water infrastructure projects as set forth in section 5 of this act.  However, no moneys in the respective funds shall be expended for those purposes, except as otherwise authorized by this act, without the specific appropriation thereof by the Legislature, but bonds may be issued as herein provided, notwithstanding that the Legislature shall not have then adopted an act making a specific appropriation of any of the moneys.  Any act appropriating moneys from the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” or the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” shall identify the particular project or projects to be funded by the moneys.

     b.    At any time prior to the issuance and sale of bonds under this act, the State Treasurer is authorized to transfer from any available moneys in any fund of the treasury of the State to the credit of the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” or the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” those sums as the State Treasurer may deem necessary.  The sums so transferred shall be returned to the same fund of the treasury of the State by the State Treasurer from the proceeds of the sale of the first issue of bonds.

     c.     Pending their application to the purposes provided in this act, the moneys in the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” and the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” may be invested and reinvested as are other trust funds in the custody of the State Treasurer, in the manner provided by law.  Net earnings received from the investment, reinvestment, or deposit of moneys in the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” and the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” shall be deposited into and become part of the respective funds.

     d.    Unexpended moneys due to project withdrawals, cancellations, or cost savings shall be returned to the appropriate fund or funds to be used for the purposes thereof.

     e.     If a grantee receives from any other source any funds in reimbursement of project expenditures for which it received a grant from the proceeds of bonds issued under this act, the grantee shall reimburse to the State Treasurer an amount equal to the funds so received from that other source, and the amount so reimbursed shall be deposited into the account from which the grant was paid for use in making additional grants for the purposes of that account as prescribed under this act.

 

     16.  If any coupon bond, coupon or registered bond is lost, mutilated or destroyed, a new bond or coupon shall be executed and delivered of like tenor, in substitution for the lost, mutilated or destroyed bond or coupon, upon the owner furnishing to the issuing officials evidence satisfactory to them of the loss, mutilation or destruction of the bond or coupon, the ownership thereof, and security, indemnity and reimbursement for expenses connected therewith, as the issuing officials may require.

 

     17.  The accrued interest, if any, received upon the sale of the bonds shall be applied to the discharge of a like amount of interest upon the bonds when due.  Any expense incurred by the issuing officials for advertising, engraving, printing, clerical, authenticating, registering, legal or other services necessary to carry out the duties imposed upon them by the provisions of this act shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the bonds by the State Treasurer, upon the warrant of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury, in the same manner as other obligations of the State are paid.

 

     18.  Bonds of each series issued hereunder shall mature, including any sinking fund redemptions, not later than the 35th year from the date of issue of that series, and in amounts as shall be determined by the issuing officials.  The issuing officials may reserve to the State by appropriate provision in the bonds of any series the power to redeem any of the bonds prior to maturity at the price or prices and upon the terms and conditions as may be provided in the bonds.

 

     19.  Any bond or bonds issued hereunder which are subject to refinancing pursuant to the “Refunding Bond Act of 1985,” P.L.1985, c.74 as amended by P.L.1992, c.182 (C.49:2B-1 et seq.), shall no longer be deemed to be outstanding, shall no longer constitute a direct obligation of the State of New Jersey, and the faith and credit of the State shall no longer be pledged to the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds, and the bonds shall be secured solely by and payable solely from moneys and government securities deposited in trust with one or more trustees or escrow agents, which trustees and escrow agents shall be trust companies or national or state banks having powers of a trust company, located either within or without the State, as provided herein, whenever there shall be deposited in trust with the trustees or escrow agents, as provided herein, either moneys or government securities, including government securities issued or held in book-entry form on the books of the Department of the Treasury of the United States, the principal of and interest on which when due will provide money which, together with the moneys, if any, deposited with the trustees or escrow agents at the same time, shall be sufficient to pay when due the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest due and to become due on the bonds on or prior to the redemption date or maturity date thereof, as the case may be; provided the government securities shall not be subject to redemption prior to their maturity other than at the option of the holder thereof.  The State of New Jersey hereby covenants with the holders of any bonds for which government securities or moneys shall have been deposited in trust with the trustees or escrow agents as provided in this section that, except as otherwise provided in this section, neither the government securities nor moneys so deposited with the trustees or escrow agents shall be withdrawn or used by the State for any purpose other than, and shall be held in trust for, the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest to become due on the bonds; provided that any cash received from the principal or interest payments on the government securities deposited with the trustees or escrow agents, to the extent the cash will not be required at any time for that purpose, shall be paid over to the State, as received by the trustees or escrow agents, free and clear of any trust, lien, pledge or assignment securing the bonds; and to the extent the cash will be required for that purpose at a later date, shall, to the extent practicable and legally permissible, be reinvested in government securities maturing at times and in amounts sufficient to pay when due the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest to become due on the bonds on and prior to the redemption date or maturity date thereof, as the case may be, and interest earned from the reinvestments shall be paid over to the State, as received by the trustees or escrow agents, free and clear of any trust, lien or pledge securing the bonds.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein:

     a.     the trustees or escrow agents shall, if so directed by the issuing officials, apply moneys on deposit with the trustees or escrow agents pursuant to the provisions of this section, and redeem or sell government securities so deposited with the trustees or escrow agents, and apply the proceeds thereof to (1) the purchase of the bonds which were refinanced by the deposit with the trustees or escrow agents of the moneys and government securities and immediately thereafter cancel all bonds so purchased, or (2) the purchase of different government securities; provided however, that the moneys and government securities on deposit with the trustees or escrow agents after the purchase and cancellation of the bonds or the purchase of different government securities shall be sufficient to pay when due the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on all other bonds in respect of which the moneys and government securities were deposited with the trustees or escrow agents on or prior to the redemption date or maturity date thereof, as the case may be; and

     b.    in the event that on any date, as a result of any purchases and cancellations of bonds or any purchases of different government securities, as provided in this sentence, the total amount of moneys and government securities remaining on deposit with the trustees or escrow agents is in excess of the total amount which would have been required to be deposited with the trustees or escrow agents on that date in respect of the remaining bonds for which the deposit was made in order to pay when due the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the remaining bonds, the trustees or escrow agents shall, if so directed by the issuing officials, pay the amount of the excess to the State, free and clear of any trust, lien, pledge or assignment securing the refunding bonds.

 

     20.  Refunding bonds issued pursuant to P.L.1985, c.74 as amended by P.L.1992, c.182 (C.49:2B-1 et seq.) may be consolidated with bonds issued pursuant to section 5 of this act or with bonds issued pursuant to any other act for purposes of sale.

 

     21.  To provide funds to meet the interest and principal payment requirements for the bonds and refunding bonds issued under this act and outstanding, there is appropriated in the order following:

     a.     Revenue derived from the collection of taxes under the “Sales and Use Tax Act,” P.L.1966, c.30 (C.54:32B-1 et seq.), or so much thereof as may be required; and

     b.    If, at any time, funds necessary to meet the interest, redemption premium, if any, and principal payments on outstanding bonds issued under this act are insufficient or not available, there shall be assessed, levied and collected annually in each of the municipalities of the counties of this State, a tax on the real and personal property upon which municipal taxes are or shall be assessed, levied and collected, sufficient to meet the interest on all outstanding bonds issued hereunder and on the bonds proposed to be issued under this act in the calendar year in which the tax is to be raised and for the payment of bonds falling due in the year following the year for which the tax is levied.  The tax shall be assessed, levied and collected in the same manner and at the same time as are other taxes upon real and personal property.  The governing body of each municipality shall cause to be paid to the county treasurer of the county in which the municipality is located, on or before December 15 in each year, the amount of tax herein directed to be assessed and levied, and the county treasurer shall pay the amount of the tax to the State Treasurer on or before December 20 in each year.

     If on or before December 31 in any year, the issuing officials, by resolution, determine that there are moneys in the General Fund beyond the needs of the State, sufficient to pay the principal of bonds falling due and all interest and redemption premium, if any, payable in the ensuing calendar year, the issuing officials shall file the resolution in the office of the State Treasurer, whereupon the State Treasurer shall transfer the moneys to a separate fund to be designated by the State Treasurer, and shall pay the principal, redemption premium, if any, and interest out of that fund as the same shall become due and payable, and the other sources of payment of the principal, redemption premium, if any, and interest provided for in this section shall not then be available, and the receipts for the year from the tax specified in subsection a. of this section shall be considered and treated as part of the General Fund, available for general purposes.

 

     22.  Should the State Treasurer, by December 31 of any year, deem it necessary, because of the insufficiency of funds collected from the sources of revenues as provided in this act, to meet the interest and principal payments for the year after the ensuing year, then the State Treasurer shall certify to the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury the amount necessary to be raised by taxation for those purposes, the same to be assessed, levied and collected for and in the ensuing calendar year.  The director shall, on or before March 1 following, calculate the amount in dollars to be assessed, levied and collected in each county as herein set forth.  This calculation shall be based upon the corrected assessed valuation of each county for the year preceding the year in which the tax is to be assessed, but the tax shall be assessed, levied and collected upon the assessed valuation of the year in which the tax is  assessed and levied.  The director shall certify the amount to the county board of taxation and the treasurer of each county.  The county board of taxation shall include the proper amount in the current tax levy of the several taxing districts of the county in proportion to the ratables as ascertained for the current year.

 

     23.  a.  On or before the 45th day next following the effective date of this act, the Commissioner of Transportation shall develop, and shall submit to the Legislature, a priority system for the selection of county emergency transportation infrastructure projects and municipal emergency transportation infrastructure projects eligible to be approved for funding from grants from the proceeds of “2011 Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Bonds” issued pursuant to this act and shall establish the ranking criteria and funding policies for the respective groups of projects.  Not later than the 60th day following submission of that priority system to the Legislature, the commissioner shall set forth a priority list of emergency transportation infrastructure projects approved for funding for the forthcoming and any subsequent fiscal year and shall include the aggregate amount of funds to be authorized for these purposes.  No moneys shall be expended for grants for any emergency transportation infrastructure project unless the expenditure is authorized pursuant to an appropriations act.  The Department of Transportation shall annually provide a financial accounting of all expenditures during the preceding year in connection with emergency transportation infrastructure projects funded in whole or in part from grants from the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” or the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund”.

     b.    On or before the 45th day next following the effective date of this act, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall develop, and shall submit to the Legislature, a priority system for the selection of county emergency water infrastructure projects and municipal emergency water infrastructure projects eligible to be approved for funding from grants from the proceeds of “2011 Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Bonds” issued pursuant to this act and shall establish the ranking criteria and funding policies for the respective groups of projects.  Not later than the 60th day following submission of that priority system to the Legislature, the commissioner shall set forth a priority list of emergency water infrastructure projects approved for funding for the forthcoming and any subsequent fiscal year and shall include the aggregate amount of funds to be authorized for these purposes.  No moneys shall be expended for grants for any emergency water infrastructure project unless the expenditure is authorized pursuant to an appropriations act.  The Department of Environmental Protection shall annually provide a financial accounting of all expenditures during the preceding year in connection with emergency water infrastructure projects funded in whole or in part from grants from the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” or the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund.”

 

     24.  a.  The Commissioner of Transportation shall submit to the State Treasurer and the commission with the department's annual budget request a plan for the upcoming fiscal year for the expenditure of funds from the emergency transportation infrastructure accounts of the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” and the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund.”  This plan shall include the following information:  a performance evaluation of the expenditures made from the respective accounts to date; a description of projects planned during the upcoming fiscal year; a copy of the regulations in force governing the operation of projects that are financed, in part or in whole, by funds from the two accounts; and an estimate of expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

     b.    The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall submit to the State Treasurer and the commission with the department's annual budget request a plan for the upcoming fiscal year for the expenditure of funds from the emergency water infrastructure accounts of the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” and the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund.”  This plan shall include the following information:  a performance evaluation of the expenditures made from the respective accounts to date; a description of projects planned during the upcoming fiscal year; a copy of the regulations in force governing the operation of projects that are financed, in part or in whole, by funds from the two accounts; and an estimate of expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

     25.  Immediately following the submission to the Legislature of the Governor's annual budget message, the Commissioner of Transportation and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall submit to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), and to the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor, copies of the plans prepared by the respective commissioners under section 24 of this act, together with such changes therein as may have been required by the Governor's budget message.

 

     26.  All appropriations from the “2011 County Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” or the “2011 Municipal Emergency Infrastructure Recovery Fund” shall be by specific allocation for each project, and any transfer of any funds so appropriated shall require the approval of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor.  Except as otherwise provided by this act, any expenditure for a project for which the location is not identified by municipality and county in the appropriation shall require the approval of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor.

 

     27.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, entitled the “Emergency Transportation and Water Infrastructure Recovery Bond Act of 2011,” authorizes the issuance of $100 million in State general obligation bonds to be used to provide $50 million in grants to counties and $50 million in grants to municipalities for the cost of transportation infrastructure projects and water infrastructure projects required to be undertaken to meet an emergency caused, directly or indirectly, by the Hurricane Irene weather events or by other acts of God during August and September, 2011.  The Commissioners of Transportation and Environmental Protection will establish procedures for the review and approval of, and eligibility criteria for, the respective categories of emergency infrastructure projects.  Each commissioner will prepare a priority list of eligible projects under that commissioner’s jurisdiction, and bond funds are to be appropriated by the Legislature only in accordance with the respective priority lists.

     Because the projects to be funded out of proceeds from the bonds are to “meet an emergency caused by . . . (an) act of God,” the legislation is exempt from the ordinary constitutional requirement that it be submitted to the people for approval at the general election to be held at least 70 days after enactment.  Therefore, the bill will take effect immediately upon enactment.