Further Update on PACE Legislation in New Jersey

Senator Bob Smith (D-Piscataway)

As we understand it, as of late December 2020 the Senate bill (S1953) was expected to move forward in January 2021, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Bob Smith.

The C-PACE Alliance, which includes a majority of the established C-PACE lenders in the country, has stepped up to the primary role of advancing the legislation, hiring an experienced government relations attorney, David J. Pascrell, of the NJ law firm Gibbons, to help move the legislation forward.

The Alliance’s role was instrumental in drafting the current Assembly bill (A2374), which passed in July by a vote of 68 to 6 (see our last update). According to the Alliance’s web site:

Context:

  • As of 2019, New Jersey statute was inoperative due to flaws in its bond provisions. The Governor’s Office has taken an interest in passing legislation to activate C-PACE.

Progress:

  • In June 2019, the Senate passed legislation drawing on CPA’s policy paper.
  • In January 2020, CPA members agreed on a framework and proposed bill language consistent with its policy.
  • At the end of April, the working group wrote a flowchart to explain how a statewide program and a Local PACE program would increase deal flow. The working group reached consensus on proposed bill language.
  • CPA members met with a senior legislator in the NJ House who will sponsor the bill.

Next Steps:

  • Since then, the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the regular work of the NJ House and Senate.

The bill sponsor has proposed the C-PACE legislation as an economic recovery measure.

As we noted on September 24, in July the NJ Assembly passed A2374, which incorporated many of the Alliance’s recommendations, including provisions that would designate the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) as the lead agency but also allow local programs (as long as they conformed to the NJEDA’s guidelines, used the same documents, and included access to the state’s program) to be established as well.

When the bill is signed, the NJEDA will then have 180 days to develop rules, guidelines, and standardized documents to permit municipalities to adopt the required ordinance to enable the program. Each of the 565 municipalities in NJ must then adopt the ordinance in order to enable PACE in their community. We hope to be part of that effort in the next several months.

3 thoughts on “Further Update on PACE Legislation in New Jersey”

  1. Tonya Wragge asks:
    “Are you still open or closed due to covid?”

    We’re not closed, just waiting for the Legislature to pass the new PACE legislation…

    1. The final agreed version of the bill will need to be re-approved by the Assembly as well as by the Senate before going to the Governor for signature, but this is mostly a formality once the key parties (the legislative sponsors and the Governor’s office) are agreed on the language. The NJEDA will then have 180 days to issue rules, guidelines, and standard documents, including the municipal ordinance that will need to be approved by any municipality wishing to participate in the program.

      Municipalities will likely adopt the program when there’s a major property owner pushing for it. We hope to be among those educating cities and towns as to the benefits, and helping them with any questions or concerns. Thanks.

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