The fiscal 2017 budget proposed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) includes $200,000 for protecting and strengthening the state’s military installations.
Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, adjutant general of New Jersey and the head of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, told the Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday that the Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force would meet later this spring to discuss the best way to spend the proposed funds.
“Proactive engagement at the local, state and federal level is the only way to ensure we maintain New Jersey’s military infrastructure and missions,” Cunniff told lawmakers Wednesday during an Assembly Budget Committee hearing.
If the proposed funding survives, it would mark the third straight year the state dedicates funds to protecting and enhancing its installations, reported the Burlington County Times.
Previous years’ funding was used to commission a report on the strengths and weaknesses of each of the state’s installations, including the role each plays in the economies of its neighboring communities. The report is being prepared by Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy & Associates and will include recommendations that state, county and local governments can use to enhance their installations.
The state has yet to decide whether to seek a new contract for consulting and lobbying, Cunniff said.
“I do believe you need a continued presence down in Washington with our elected officials and state officials and governor’s office … to make sure the state is an attractive place where the military wants to keep housing missions,” he said.