[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 4117

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman  PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblywoman  GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  ARTHUR BARCLAY

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  JAMEL C. HOLLEY

District 20 (Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Giblin, Benson, Assemblywomen Handlin and Chaparro

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits county improvement authorities to establish student loan refinancing loan programs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the General Assembly on February 15, 2017.

  


An Act concerning county improvement authorities and amending P.L.1960, c.183.

 

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

 

     11.   Section 2 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-45) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in this act, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

     (a)   "Authority" shall mean a public body created pursuant to this act;

     (b)   "Bond resolution" shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in section 17 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-60);

     (c)   "Bonds" shall mean bonds, notes or other obligations issued pursuant to this act;

     (d)   "Construct" and "construction" shall connote and include acts of clearance, demolition, construction, development or redevelopment, reconstruction, replacement, extension, improvement and betterment;

     (e)   "Cost" shall mean, in addition to the usual connotations thereof, the cost of planning, acquisition or construction of all or any part of any public facility or facilities of an authority and of all or any property, rights, easements, privileges, agreements and franchises deemed by the authority to be necessary or useful and convenient therefor or in connection therewith and the cost of retiring the present value of the unfunded accrued liability due and owing by the authority, as calculated by the system actuary for a date certain upon the request of the authority, for early retirement incentive benefits granted by the authority pursuant to P.L.1991, c.230 and P.L.1993, c.181, including interest or discount on bonds, cost of issuance of bonds, architectural, engineering and inspection costs and legal expenses, cost of financial, professional and other estimates and advice, organization, administrative, operating and other expenses of the authority prior to and during such acquisition or construction, and all such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the financing, acquisition, construction and completion of such public facility or facilities or part thereof and the placing of the same fully in operation or the disposition of the same, and also such provision or reserves for working capital, operating, maintenance or replacement expenses or for payment or security of principal of or interest on bonds during or after such acquisition or construction as the authority may determine, and also reimbursements to the authority or any governmental unit or person of any moneys theretofore expended for the purposes of the authority;

     (f)   The term "county" shall mean any county of any class of the State and shall include, without limitation, the terms "the county" and "beneficiary county" defined in this act, and the term "the county" shall mean the county which created an authority pursuant to this act;

     (g)   "Development project" shall mean any lands, structures, or property or facilities acquired or constructed or to be acquired or constructed by an authority for the purposes of the authority described in subsection (e) of section 11 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-54);

     (h)   "Facility charges" shall have the meaning ascribed to said term in section 14 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-57);

     (i)    "Facility revenues" shall have the meaning ascribed to said term in subsection (e) of section 20 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-63);

     (j)    "Governing body" shall mean, in the case of a county, the board of chosen freeholders, or in the case of a county operating under article 3 or 5 of the "Optional County Charter Law," P.L.1972, c.154 (C.40:41A-1 et seq.) as defined thereunder, and, in the case of a municipality, the commission, council, board or body, by whatever name it may be known, having charge of the finances of the municipality;

     (k)   "Governmental unit" shall mean the United States of America or the State or any county or municipality or any subdivision, department, agency, or instrumentality heretofore or hereafter created, designated or established by or for the United States of America or the State or any county or municipality;

     (l)    "Local bond law" shall mean chapter 2 of Title 40A, Municipalities and Counties, of the New Jersey Statutes (N.J.S.) as amended and supplemented;

     (m)  "Municipality" shall mean any city, borough, village, town, or township of the State but not a county or a school district;

     (n)   "Person" shall mean any person, partnership, association, corporation or entity other than a nation, state, county or municipality or any subdivision, department, agency or instrumentality thereof;

     (o)   "Project" shall have the meaning ascribed to said term in section 17 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-60);

     (p)   "Public facility" shall mean any lands, structures, franchises, equipment, or other property or facilities acquired, constructed, owned, financed, or leased by the authority or any other governmental unit or person to accomplish any of the purposes of an authority authorized by section 11 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-54);

     (q)   "Real property" shall mean lands within or without the State, above or below water, and improvements thereof or thereon, or any riparian or other rights or interests therein;

     (r)    "Garbage and solid waste disposal system" shall mean the plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated or to be acquired, constructed or operated by a county improvement authority, including incinerators, sanitary landfill facilities or other plants for the treatment and disposal of garbage, solid waste and refuse matter and all other real and personal property and rights therein and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for the collection and treatment or disposal in a sanitary manner of garbage, solid waste and refuse matter (but not including sewage);

     (s)   "Garbage, solid waste or refuse matter" shall mean garbage, refuse and other discarded materials resulting from industrial, commercial and agricultural operations, and from domestic and community activities, and shall include all other waste materials including sludge, chemical waste, hazardous wastes and liquids, except for liquids which are treated in public sewage treatment plants and except for solid animal and vegetable wastes collected by swine producers licensed by the State Department of Agriculture to collect, prepare and feed such wastes to swine on their own farms;

     (t)    "Blighted, deteriorated or deteriorating area" may include an area determined heretofore by the municipality to be blighted in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1949, c.187, repealed by P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40:55-21.1 et seq.) and, in addition, areas which are determined by the municipality, pursuant to the same procedures as provided in said law, to be blighted, deteriorated or deteriorating because of structures or improvements which are dilapidated or characterized by disrepair, lack of ventilation or light or sanitary facilities, faulty arrangement, location, or design, or other unhealthful or unsafe conditions;

     (u)   "Redevelopment" may include planning, replanning, conservation, rehabilitation, clearance, development and redevelopment; and the construction and rehabilitation and provision for construction and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial, public or other structures and the grant or dedication or rededication of spaces as may be appropriate or necessary in the interest of the general welfare for streets, parks, playgrounds, or other public purposes including recreational and other facilities incidental or appurtenant thereto, in accordance with a redevelopment plan approved by the governing body of a municipality;

     (v)   "Redevelopment plan" shall mean a plan as it exists from time to time for the redevelopment of all or any part of a redevelopment area, which plan shall be sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition and removal of structures, redevelopment, improvements, conservation or rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the area of the project, zoning and planning changes, if any, land uses, maximum densities, building requirements, the plan's relationship to definite local objectives respecting appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements and provision for relocation of any residents and occupants to be displaced in a manner which has been or is likely to be approved by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to the "Relocation Assistance Law of 1967," P.L.1967, c.79 (C.52:31B-1 et seq.) and the "Relocation Assistance Act," P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.) and rules and regulations pursuant thereto;

     (w)  "Redevelopment project" shall mean any undertakings and activities for the elimination, and for the prevention of the development or spread, of blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas and may involve any work or undertaking pursuant to a redevelopment plan; such undertaking may include: (1) acquisition of real property and demolition, removal or rehabilitation of buildings and improvements thereon; (2) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements; and (3) installation, construction or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds or other improvements necessary for carrying out the objectives of the redevelopment project;

     (x)   "Redeveloper" shall mean any person or governmental unit that shall enter into or propose to enter into a contract with an authority for the redevelopment of an area or any part thereof under the provisions of this act;

     (y)   "Redevelopment area" shall mean an area of a municipality which the governing body thereof finds is a blighted area or an area in need of rehabilitation whose redevelopment is necessary to effectuate the public purposes declared in this act.  A redevelopment area may include lands, buildings, or improvements which of themselves are not detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, but whose inclusion is found necessary, with or without change in their condition, for the effective redevelopment of the area of which they are a part;

     (z)   "Sludge" shall mean any solid, semisolid, or liquid waste generated from a municipal, industrial or other sewage treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, or any other such waste having similar characteristics and effects, but shall not include effluent; and

     (aa) "Beneficiary county" shall mean any county that has not created an authority pursuant to [this act] P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-44 et seq.); except that with respect to a program to refinance student loans, it shall include any county that has not established its own program to refinance student loans, whether or not that county has created an authority pursuant to P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-44 et seq.).1

(cf: P.L.2002, c.42, s.6)

 

     1[1.] 2.1  Section 11 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-54) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  The purposes of every authority shall be (a) provision within the county or any beneficiary county of public facilities for use by the State, the county or any beneficiary county, or any municipality in any such county, or any two or more or any subdivisions, departments, agencies or instrumentalities of any of the foregoing for any of their respective governmental purposes, (b) provision within the county or any beneficiary county of public facilities for use as convention halls, or the rehabilitation, improvement or enlargement of any convention hall, including appropriate and desirable appurtenances located within the convention hall or near, adjacent to or over it within boundaries determined at the discretion of the authority, including but not limited to office facilities, commercial facilities, community service facilities, parking facilities, hotel facilities and other facilities for the accommodation and entertainment of tourists and visitors, (c) provision within the county or any beneficiary county of structures, franchises, equipment and facilities for operation of public transportation or for terminal purposes, including development and improvement of port terminal structures, facilities and equipment for public use in counties in, along or through which a navigable river flows, (d) provision within the county or any beneficiary county of structures or other facilities used or operated by the authority or any governmental unit in connection with, or relative to development and improvement of, aviation for military or civilian purposes, including research in connection therewith, and including structures or other facilities for the accommodation of passengers, (e) provision within the county or any beneficiary county of a public facility for a combination of governmental and nongovernmental uses; provided that not more than 50% of the usable space in any such facility shall be made available for nongovernmental use under a lease or other agreement by or with the authority, (f) acquisition of any real property within the county or any beneficiary county, with or without the improvements thereof or thereon or personal property appurtenant or incidental thereto, from the United States of America or any department, agency or instrumentality heretofore or hereafter created, designated or established by or for it, and the clearance, development or redevelopment, improvement, use or disposition of the acquired lands and premises in accordance with the provisions and for the purposes stated in this act, including the construction, reconstruction, demolition, rehabilitation, conversion, repair or alteration of improvements on or to said lands and premises, and structures and facilities incidental to the foregoing as may be necessary, convenient or desirable, (g) acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of garbage and solid waste disposal systems for the purpose of collecting and disposing of garbage, solid waste or refuse matter, whether owned or operated by any person, the authority or any other governmental unit, within or without the county or any beneficiary county, (h) the improvement, furtherance and promotion of the tourist industries and recreational attractiveness of the county or any beneficiary county through the planning, acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of facilities for the recreation and entertainment of the public, which facilities may include, without being limited to, a center for the performing and visual arts, (i) provision of loans and other financial assistance and technical assistance for the construction, reconstruction, demolition, rehabilitation, conversion, repair or alteration of buildings or facilities designed to provide decent, safe and sanitary dwelling units for persons of low and moderate income in need of housing, including the acquisition of land, equipment or other real or personal properties which the authority determines to be necessary, convenient or desirable appurtenances, all in accordance with the provisions of this act, as amended and supplemented, (j) planning, initiating and carrying out redevelopment projects for the elimination, and for the prevention of the development or spread of blighted, deteriorated or deteriorating areas and the disposition, for uses in accordance with the objectives of the redevelopment project, of any property or part thereof acquired in the area of such project, (k) any combination or combinations of the foregoing or following, and (l) subject to the prior approval of the Local Finance Board, the planning, design, acquisition, construction, improvement, renovation, installation, maintenance and operation of facilities or any other type of real or personal property within the county for a corporation or other person organized for any one or more of the purposes described in subsection a. of N.J.S.15A:2-1 except those facilities or any other type of real or personal property which can be financed pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1972, c.29 (C.26:2I-1 et seq.) as amended.  A county improvement authority shall also have as its [purpose] purposes the pooling of loans for any local governmental units within the county or any beneficiary county that are refunding bonds in order to achieve more favorable interest rates and terms for those local governmental units, and the refinancing of student loans, whether in the name of a student or parent borrower, for students 1or parent borrowers1 who are residents of the county 1or a beneficiary county1.

(cf: P.L.2002, c.42, s.8)

 

     1[2.] 3.1 Section 12 of P.L.1960, c.183 (C.40:37A-55) is amended to read as follows:

     12.  Every authority shall be a public body politic and corporate constituting a political subdivision of the State established as an instrumentality exercising public and essential governmental functions to provide for the public convenience, benefit and welfare and shall have perpetual succession and, for the effectuation of its purposes, have the following additional powers:

     (a)   To adopt and have a common seal and to alter the same at pleasure;

     (b)   To sue and be sued;

     (c)   To acquire, hold, use and dispose of its facility charges and other revenues and other moneys;

     (d)   To acquire, rent, hold, use and dispose of other personal property for the purposes of the authority;

     (e)   Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this act, to acquire by purchase, gift, condemnation or otherwise, or lease as lessee, real property and easements or interests therein necessary or useful and convenient for the purposes of the authority, whether subject to mortgages, deeds of trust or other liens or otherwise, and to hold and to use the same, and to dispose of property so acquired no longer necessary for the purposes of the authority; provided that the authority may dispose of such property at any time to any governmental unit or person if the authority shall receive a leasehold interest in the property for such term as the authority deems appropriate to fulfill its purposes;

     (f)   Subject to the provisions of section 13 of this act, to lease to any governmental unit or person, all or any part of any public facility for such consideration and for such period or periods of time and upon such other terms and conditions as it may fix and agree upon;

     (g)   To enter into agreements to lease, as lessee, public facilities for such term and under such conditions as the authority may deem necessary and desirable to fulfill its purposes, and to agree, pursuant thereto, to be unconditionally obligated to make payments for the term of the lease, without set-off or counterclaim, whether or not the public facility is completed, operating or operable, and notwithstanding the destruction of, damage to, or suspension, interruption, interference, reduction or curtailment of the availability or output of the public facility to which the agreement applies;

     (h)   To extend credit or make loans to any governmental unit or person for the planning, design, acquisition, construction, equipping and furnishing of a public facility, upon the terms and conditions that the loans be secured by loan and security agreements, mortgages, leases and other instruments, the payments on which shall be sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on any bonds issued for the purpose by the authority, and upon such other terms and conditions as the authority shall deem reasonable;

     (i)    Subject to the provisions of section 13 of this act, to make agreements of any kind with any governmental unit or person for the use or operation of all or any part of any public facility for such consideration and for such period or periods of time and upon such other terms and conditions as it may fix and agree upon;

     (j)    (1) To borrow money and issue negotiable bonds or notes or other obligations and provide for and secure the payment of any bonds and the rights of the holders thereof, and to purchase, hold and dispose of any bonds;

     (2)   To issue bonds, notes or other obligations to provide funding to a municipality that finances the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements by property owners as provided in section 2 of P.L.2011, c.187 (C.40:56-13.1);

     (k)   To apply for and to accept gifts or grants of real or personal property, money, material, labor or supplies for the purposes of the authority from any governmental unit or person, and to make and perform agreements and contracts and to do any and all things necessary or useful and convenient in connection with the procuring, acceptance or disposition of such gifts or grants;

     (l)    To determine the location, type and character of any public facility and all other matters in connection with all or any part of any public facility which it is authorized to own, construct, establish, effectuate or control;

     (m)  To make and enforce bylaws or rules and regulations for the management and regulation of its business and affairs and for the use, maintenance and operation of any public facility, and to amend the same;

     (n)   To do and perform any acts and things authorized by this act under, through or by means of its own officers, agents and employees, or by contract with any governmental unit or person;

     (o)   To acquire, purchase, construct, lease, operate, maintain and undertake any project and to fix and collect facility charges for the use thereof;

     (p)   To mortgage, pledge or assign or otherwise encumber all or any portion of its revenues and other income, real and personal property, projects and facilities for the purpose of securing its bonds, notes and other obligations or otherwise in furtherance of the purpose of this act;

     (q)   To extend credit or make loans to redevelopers for the planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, equipping and furnishing any redevelopment project or redevelopment work;

     (r)    To conduct examinations and investigations, hear testimony and take proof, under oath at public or private hearings of any material matter, require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers and issue commissions for the examination of witnesses who are out of the State, unable to attend, or excused from attendance;

     (s)   To authorize a committee designated by it consisting of one or more members, or counsel, or any officer or employee to conduct any such investigation or examination, in which case such committee, counsel, officer or employee shall have power to administer oaths, take affidavits and issue subpenas or commissions;

     (t)    To enter into any and all agreements or contracts, execute any and all instruments, and do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient or desirable for the purposes of the authority or to carry out any power expressly given in this act subject to the "Local Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.); [and]

     (u)   To pool loans for any local governmental units within the county or any beneficiary county that are refunding bonds and do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient or desirable for the purpose of the authority to achieve more favorable interest rates and terms for those local governmental units; and

     (v) 1[To] Upon the direction of the county governing body, to1 make loans, and advertise the availability of such loans, to any student borrower 1or parent borrower1 who is a resident of the county 1or a beneficiary county1, and to any parent borrower who is a resident of the State or has their primary employment within the State and who is the obligor on a student loan for a student who is a resident of the county 1or a beneficiary county1, for the purpose of refinancing that student loan at a lower interest rate.  For the purposes of this subsection, “student loan” means any amount borrowed, whether through a public or private lender, for the purpose of attending an institution of higher education or a proprietary institution licensed in New Jersey to 1[offered] offer1 academic degrees.

     (1)   A student loan refinancing loan shall be made upon terms and conditions as determined by the authority, and shall include but not be limited to 1[:

     (i)    a confession of judgment clause to permit any outstanding student loan refinancing loan balance to be entered as a judgment in any jurisdiction, and applied as a wage attachment or garnishment without notice or a hearing, on or after the loan has been declared by the authority to be in default, which for the purpose of this paragraph means that at least three consecutive monthly payments have not been made when due; and

     (ii)]1 at least two different types of repayment plans, one of which shall provide a percentage-of-discretionary income repayment plan.   Any repayment plan, to the extent practicable, shall include deferment or forbearance options.  All repayment plans shall 1[allow for interest-free deferment of payments upon certification of temporary disability of the borrower that prevents them from exercising the usual and customary duties of their employment] include provisions regarding cancellation of an outstanding student loan reimbursement loan balance upon certification of the death, total and permanent disability, or temporary disability of a student borrower, that are consistent with the terms of New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS) loans following the enactment of P.L.2016, c.71 (C.18A:71C-31.1 et seq.)1.

     (2)   The interest rate and payments on student loan refinancing loans shall be set by the authority at levels sufficient to pay the principal of, and interest on, any bonds issued by the authority for this purpose, and upon such other terms and conditions as the authority shall deem reasonable; provided, however, that the authority shall not refinance a student loan when the proposed monthly payments would result in an undue hardship for the borrower, taking into consideration their current sources of income and other expenses.  Any collections from student loan refinancing loan payments in excess of the amount necessary to pay the principal of, and interest on, any bonds issued by the authority for this purpose shall be used solely to cover the reasonable costs of administering the student loan refinancing program and losses from defaults and other risks.

     (3)   It is intended that any student loan refinanced pursuant to this subsection shall not be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

     (4)   The authority shall ensure that a borrower may contact and speak with a live representative of the authority who can access the borrower’s loan information and who has knowledge of the student loan refinancing program.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.187, s.4)

 

     1[3.] 4.1     This act shall take effect immediately.