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Bill introduced that officially defines Central Jersey as region in New Jersey

Does Central Jersey exist? New bill says yes
Does Central Jersey exist? New bill says yes 02:22

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. -- We're possibly a step closer to resolving one of the oldest debates -- is Central Jersey real?

A new bill introduced in the state Legislature would formally define Central Jersey as Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties.

But, as CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported Wednesday, it aims to do much more than that.

READ MORE: Click here to read the bill

If you live in New Jersey, you know there are many items up for debate. Pork roll or Taylor ham? Hoagie or sub? Pump your gas or have it pumped for you?

But perhaps one of the oldest debates is whether Central Jersey even exists.

"Oh, absolutely," Hillsborough resident John Hardenbergh said.

"Central Jersey does not exist," another man said.

It depends where you go and who you ask.

"What do you say to people who say there's only North Jersey and South Jersey?" DeAngelis asked.

"They're wrong. We're our own region. We have our own vibe," Hillsborough resident Susan Barry said.

Gov. Phil Murphy set the record straight in a tweet and on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" back in 2018 when he told the host he hailed from Central Jersey.

New legislation introduced this week says it not only exists, it formally defines Central Jersey into the four counties mentioned earlier.

Assemblyman Roy Freiman is a sponsor of the bill, which would require the state to promote tourism there and allocate funding.

"Being able to spend dollars here and promoting and bringing people out is not just tongue in cheek. This is not just building on what some of the comedians have talked about -- is there a Central New Jersey. There is authentic economic drivers in opportunities behind this," Freiman said.

"We're often overlooked in this area of the state and it's generally because people don't understand how many farms and how many businesses exist around here," said Billy Jordan, owner of Flounder Brewing Co.

DeAngelis asked Jeffrey Vasser, the executive director of the Division of Travel and Tourism, what he thinks.

"We promote the destination marketing organizations that are in Central Jersey, so we think we already are doing it. If we want to put it in writing, that's fine, too," Vasser said.

"Is it just North and South Jersey, or is it North, Central, and South?" DeAngelis asked.

"I'm gonna plead the Fifth on that one," Vasser said.

Whether or not you think DeAngelis was in Central Jersey for this report can remain up for debate, but if the bill passes, that could all change.

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