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Rutgers $25 million lottery win: maybe tomorrow?

Money makes the world go round....and builds stuff. Like a basketball practice facility. A vote tentatively set for Monday in the New Jersey legislature could mean big things for Rutgers.

Rutgers alum and supporter, state senator Ray Lesniak, sponsored a bill in the state legislature that would provide tax credits for the construction of "certain infrastructure at Rutgers". This has been billed as the centerpiece in getting the basketball practice facility off the ground.  And it appears to be on the verge of becoming reality.

The bill, S2880, was first introduced in the state Senate nine months ago.  The Democrat Lesniak was joined in the sponsoring of the bill by Republican Tom Kean, Jr.  And there were two other senators, one R, one D, who were co-sponsors. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted it out of committee last June by a 13-0 vote. And it passed the Senate, in a very bipartisan way, the same month, 37-3.  For the record, the three no votes in the Senate were:

  • Christopher Connors, District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean Counties), M.P.A. Rutgers, J.D. Rutgers
  • Michael Doherty, District 23  (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren) , B.A. West Point, J.D. Seton Hall
  • James Holzapfel, District 10 (Ocean County), B.A. Monmouth, J.D. Seton Hall

Any number of commenters here have pointed out the rather large number of Seton Hall alums in the legislature, and in this case from the Law School.  Maybe Pat Hobbs can do some constructive politicking here.

Last Thursday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee had its second reading of the bill and voted it out of committee by a 6-2 vote, with one abstention.  Again, for the record, the two no votes in the Assembly committee were:

  • John DeMaio, District 23 as was Doherty
  • Gail Phoebus, District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

But, if you look at tweets and stories filed by other local media, you can get a rather distorted view of what's going on.

If only....  It's a bad tweet, an inaccurate one at that.  The story was filed by Peter Haskell (@peterhaskell880) of WCBS 880 radio (@CBSNewYork) , and a former staffer at New Brunswick's WCTC, although it wasn't his tweet.  The story says "the plan is to spend $125-million to upgrade athletic facilities, $25-million would come from the state."  Not at all accurate. There is no price tag attached to any of the construction so far.  And we wonder why people criticize Rutgers' spending.

But that brings us to Monday's full Assembly vote. As Senator Lesniak tweeted, a Yes vote by the Assembly puts the passed bill on the desk of Governor Christie. And since Pat Hobbs was a part of Christie's "inner circle" after the Bridgegate scandal broke, there may be a very good chance of a signature from the presidential hopeful.  While Christie had no say or influence in Hobbs' hiring, he is a big supporter of the new AD and believes he can be successful.

A $25 million windfall might be of some help, Chris.