Press Release
Senator Kip Bateman Senator Kip Bateman (R-16)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
November 20, 2020
Governor Signs Bateman Bill Investing in Public Libraries

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The New Law Appropriates Money from the Voter-Approved Library Construction Bond Act

Legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman and signed today by the Governor will benefit public libraries across the state. The measure appropriates more than $87 million for library construction and development.

Senator Bateman’s legislation to provide grants to public libraries for construction and accessibility modifications was signed by the Governor. (Abhi Sharma/Flickr)

The grants represent the initial funding round from the Library Construction Bond Act. Bateman sponsored legislation establishing the act to help struggling public libraries, and it was approved by voters in 2017.

“This is an investment in New Jersey counties, cities and towns that will help educate children, train workers for new careers, provide the public with access to the internet and technology, and give patrons the chance to enjoy a good read,” said Bateman (R-16).

Earlier this month, Governor Murphy recommended a list of qualified projects for the initial funding round, including 38 recipients. A second round of funding could happen as early as the first quarter of 2021.

“Public libraries serve as valuable community centers that everyone should have access to, but many facilities are in need of facelifts and safety and accessibility upgrades,” Bateman noted. “I appreciate the Governor’s prompt action signing this bill in the same week it cleared the Legislature. The availability of these grants is good news for public libraries and the residents who utilize them.”

Today’s signing appropriates $87,444,690 from the Library Construction Fund to cover 50 percent of the costs for designated projects. The grants require local governments to make up the remaining 50 percent of the costs.

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