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Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday signed legislation, strongly supported by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, appropriating the remaining $34 million from a voter-approved bond issue for construction projects at higher education institutions.

The appropriation is the balance remaining from the $750 million Building Our Future Bond Act that voters approved in 2012. The 32 colleges and universities whose proposals won state-approval for this latest round of funding had to detail how their projects served students and aligned with New Jersey’s workforce needs.

“These funds will help boost technology and health science programs and renovate classrooms and labs so our schools can offer the same or better learning opportunities than those in any other state,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka.

“Every year, large numbers of high school graduates leave New Jersey to continue their education elsewhere,” Siekerka said. “Taxpayers invest billions in the K-12 education of these students, only to see them leave the state for college and never return. We must reverse this trend. Continued investment in our higher education institutions will help New Jersey to better compete with those out-of-state colleges that are attracting our students.”

For this round of funding, the state received a total of 63 applications from 32 institutions. The applications were reviewed and recommendations were made by the Educational Facilities Authority, the Economic Development Authority, the Schools Development Authority and the Department of Treasury.

The list of approved projects, which will use both the $34 million in bond funds and $146 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, can be accessed by clicking here.