Dear Editor:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012, is an important day for our nation, state and future. In addition to casting our presidential vote, we have the opportunity to have a say on the future of New Jersey's colleges and universities. Public Question #1, the Building Our Future Bond Act, would authorize the state to issue $750 million in bonds to fund matching grants to help public and private colleges and universities build, equip and expand academic facilities. This investment is critical to ensuring today's students are prepared to be tomorrow's leaders. That is why I support Public Question #1.

As former chairman of the New Jersey Commission for Higher Education, I understand firsthand the importance of capital improvements to our colleges and universities. By investing in higher education and modernizing our academic facilities, we can help students achieve their potential, create a 21st Century workforce and have a lasting impact on our competiveness.

This referendum also can provide an important boost to the state's economy. It is anticipated that nearly 10,000 direct and indirect jobs could be created as a result of this capital spending. Additionally, GDP in the state is estimated to grow by over $715 million annually. And, that's good for us all.

Our vote on Election Day has never been more important. By supporting Public Question #1, we can ensure that students have access to a competitive higher education and the opportunity to succeed in tomorrow's workforce. Our students, our state and our future are counting on you.

Sincerely,

Laurence M. Downes,
Chairman and CEO
New Jersey Resources