"This will keep the state's colleges and universities competitive so that more talented New Jersey residents will study and stay here at home," says Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Monday that directs $34 million from a state bond program to facility enhancements at colleges and universities.

The new funds represent the balance of a 2012 voter-approved  $750 million general obligation bond measure. The measure dedicated $300 million to Rutgers, Rowan and the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the remainder to other higher education institutions.

"This is an investment in higher education that will support enhanced opportunities for students at New Jersey's colleges and universities," said State Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood Ridge, who was a co-sponsor of the legislation. "Improved facilities will help keep our institutions of higher education on the forefront of research and development, which translates into economic growth for the state."

The state legislature initially appropriated $716 million from the Building Our Future Bond Act in August 2013. The new funding will help spearhead renovations of academic buildings at William Paterson University and Monmouth University as well as improvements at two-year colleges throughout the Garden State.

"Investing in New Jersey's public institutions of higher learning is about providing our state's best and brightest individuals with facilities that will allow them to receive a world-class education," said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus. "This will keep the state's colleges and universities competitive so that more talented New Jersey residents will study and stay here at home."

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