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Christie Backing $750 Million N.J. College Bond Referendum

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he supports a proposed $750 million bond referendum for college capital projects that is moving through the Legislature.

The measure, which was advanced yesterday by the Senate Budget Committee, would ask voters in November to approve borrowing to fund the construction of classrooms, labs and other academic buildings. Another bill would direct $540 million of unused bonding capacity for the same purpose, bringing the total investment to as much as $1.3 billion.

New Jersey sends more students to out-of-state colleges than any other in the U.S. and has lost many of its best talent when they remain in other cities after graduation, Christie said at a town-hall meeting in Cedar Grove today.

“We need to make New Jersey better from a higher education perspective,” said Christie, 49, a first-term Republican. “If we do, not only will it be good for education, but we’d keep families together.”

New Jersey last sold general-obligation debt to fund college construction in 1988. This bond act is sponsored by Republican and Democratic leaders in both houses of the Legislature.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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