New Jersey officials announced Wednesday that the state plans to sell $2.5 billion of debt to fund school construction, with Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration to file legislation on the borrowing proposal in February.

A court mandate requires the state to fully fund school facility infrastructure projects in 31 special-needs areas called Abbott districts. The latest borrowing plan comes at a time when New Jersey is looking at ways to reduce its debt burden, with lawmakers and the administration pushing an initiative to require that all non-revenue debt be subject to voter approval. However, the Abbott laws do not require school construction debt to pass via referendum, and the $2.5 billion will be backed by dedicated income tax revenue.

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