SENATE, No. 3337

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 3, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL L. TESTA, JR.

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Senator  ANDREW ZWICKER

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs Secretary of Higher Education to establish Wine and Grape Education Grant Program; appropriates $1.5 million.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing a grant program to provide opportunities for education in the wine and grape industry at four-year public institutions of higher education and making an appropriation.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The Secretary of Higher Education shall establish a four-year “Wine and Grape Education Grant Program.” The program shall provide grants to four-year public institutions of higher education to establish or expand degree-granting or certificate programs in wine and grape science including grape growing, wine making, and business operations.

     b.  The secretary shall determine the allowable uses for grant funds prior to accepting applications to participate in the grant program and shall describe the allowable uses in a notice of grant opportunity.

     c.  A four-year public institution of higher education that wants to participate in the grant program shall submit an application to the secretary in a form and manner prescribed by the secretary. The application shall include:

     (1) the institution’s plan for the establishment or expansion of wine and grape education programs;

     (2) the institution’s plan to ensure students attain real-world knowledge and experience in the wine and grape industry including, but not limited to, the availability of partnerships with nonprofit organizations and local wineries;

     (3) the number of students able to be supported by the grant funding and the number of students expected to participate; and

     (4) any other information the secretary deems necessary.

     d.  After reviewing the applications submitted pursuant to subsection c. of this section, the secretary shall select three four-year public institutions of higher education to participate in the grant program. The three institutions selected by the secretary shall include one institution in each of the southern, central, and northern regions of the State. The secretary shall award a grant in an amount not to exceed $500,000 to each grant recipient.

     e.  In addition to the funds appropriated to the program pursuant to section 3 of this act, the secretary may accept and allocate funds made available to the program by contribution, gift, donation, or any other sources for the purpose of the program.

 

     2.    a.  A four-year public institution of higher education receiving a grant under the Wine and Grape Education Grant Program established pursuant to section 1 of this act may permit a student who is under the age of 21 to enroll in a degree-granting or certificate program in wine and grape science provided that the student shall not be permitted to enroll in any coursework or attend any event where alcoholic beverages are to be consumed or where the student would otherwise be required to be 21 years of age in accordance with any other law, rule, or regulation.

     b.  As used in this section, “alcoholic beverage” means the same as that term is defined in R.S.33:1-1.

 

     3.    The Secretary of Higher Education shall submit a report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), no later than six months prior to the conclusion of the Wine and Grape Education Grant Program established pursuant to section 1 of this act. The report shall include, but not be limited to, information on the implementation of the grant program, the number of students supported by the grant program, and any recommendations concerning the continuation or expansion of the grant program.

 

     4.    There is appropriated $1,500,000 from the General Fund to the Secretary of Higher Education for the implementation of the Wine and Grape Education Grant Program established pursuant to section 1 of this act.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on July 1 next following the date of enactment, except that the Secretary of Higher Education may take any anticipatory action, in advance of the effective date, as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Secretary of Higher Education to establish a four-year Wine and Grape Education Grant Program. The program is to provide grants to four-year public institutions of higher education to establish or expand degree-granting or certificate programs in wine and grape science including grape growing, wine making, and business operations.

     To be eligible for consideration of a grant award, a four-year public institution of higher education is required to submit an application to the Secretary of Higher Education in a form and manner prescribed by the secretary. A grant application is required to include: the institution’s plan for the establishment or expansion of wine and grape education programs; the institution’s plan to ensure students attain real-world knowledge and experience in the wine and grape industry including, but not limited to, the availability of partnerships with nonprofit organizations and local wineries; the number of students able to be supported by the grant program and the number of students expected to participate; and any other information the secretary deems necessary.

     Under the bill, the secretary is to select three four-year public institutions of higher education, including one institution in each of the southern, central, and northern regions of the State, for participation in the grant program. An institution selected to participate is to receive a grant in an amount not to exceed $500,000.

     The provisions of the bill stipulate that a four-year public institution of higher education that receives a grant under the program may permit a student who is under the age of 21 to enroll in a degree-granting or certificate program in wine and grape science provided that the student is not to be permitted to enroll in any coursework or attend any event where alcoholic beverages are to be consumed or where the student would otherwise be required to be 21 years of age in accordance with any other law, rule, or regulation.

     Additionally, the bill requires the secretary to submit a report on the grant program to the Governor and the Legislature no later than six months prior to the conclusion of the program.