Education officials told an Assembly Higher Education Committee Thursday that 2012 would be the perfect time to place a bond issue for capital projects on the ballot.
Robert Polakowski, vice president of the N.J. Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, told the committee that their research shows that a presidential election year is the best time to place a bond issue question on the ballot because those elections bring out the independent vote.
The second best time would be in a gubernatorial election year, but he said, “We’re on target for 2012.’’
He stressed that any ballot proposal to fund capital projects at N.J. colleges and universities must have bipartisan support or it won’t succeed.
The N.J. Higher Education Task Force recommended earlier this year that the state issue its first general obligation bonds since 1988 for capital projects for higher education.
He and Richard McCormick, president of Rutgers University, told the committee that college presidents will work with political and business leaders on a bond proposal for 2012.
They both said polling will be done in advance to test the public appetite for supporting a bond issue.
McCormick said that with approximately 40 percent of the construction trades people in the state out of work they know that there will be support from labor for such a bond issue.