New Jersey has an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. This includes transportation, water, wastewater, energy and telecommunications. It is long past time for action to be taken to address infrastructure needs in a comprehensive manner. Absent this, businesses cannot have long-term confidence or optimism.
A comprehensive solution requires long-term planning with a gradual process of repair and renewal. This is not a problem we can fix overnight. A long-term solution will require responsible and phased in investments over a 10-, 20- and 30-year term.
Equally important is finding the appropriate funding mechanism. For example, all the talk about replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) misses the point that the TTF is broken and beyond repair. It simply does not work anymore. We need a new financing mechanism that can finance projects in a well-planned and reasonable way at low interest rates. One model might be the Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT), which has been a highly successful funding mechanism within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
A model such as the EIT takes an annual appropriation that is matched by federal dollars and leverages those assets through their AAA bond rating resulting in low interest loans to government entities.
Having state-of-the-art infrastructure is indisputably good for business and will allow New Jersey to remain competitive with our neighboring states.