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Economic Development
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New Business Incentive - S-3033
(Lesniak/D-20; Kyrillos/R-13; Coutinho/D-29; Conaway/D-7; Bucco/R-25; Chiusano/R-24; Ramos/D-33):

Governor signed P.L.2011, c.149. This law establishes a $200 million "Grow New Jersey" tax credit program. The credit is $5,000 per employee, per year for up to ten years with the potential for a bonus award of an additional $3,000 per employee per year. An eligible business must have a minimum of 100 new or retained full-time employees and make a capital investment of at least $20 million. The program's cost would fall under the $1.5 billion cap established under the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program, and the initial allocation could be increased at the discretion of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

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Codifying Business Action Center - A-4337
(Madden/D-4; Oroho/R-24):

Assembly passed 47-29-2. Senate passed 34-3 and sent to Governor. This bill creates the New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC) within the Department of State, and transfers the majority of responsibilities of the Business Retention and Attraction Division to the BAC, which will act as the state's liaison to the business community and provide information on incentives, permits, taxes, regulations and other key areas of concern to employers. The bill also requires the BAC to provide, upon request and free of charge, businesses within the state that have fewer than 99 employees with individualized competitive intelligence information.

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Energy
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Societal Benefits Charge - A-2528
(Chivukula/D-17; Quijano/D-20):

Senate passed 33-4. Assembly passed 68-6 and sent to Governor. This bill provides for the allocation of a societal benefits charge among residential, commercial and industrial utility customers. The bill allows commercial and industrial ratepayers to take a credit of up to 50 percent of the societal benefit charge to offset the cost of BPU-approved energy efficient projects.

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Environment
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Wastewater Management Planning - S-3156
(Sarlo/D-36; Oroho/R-24; Coutinho/D-29; Greenwald/D-6; DeCroce/R-26; McHose/R-24):

Assembly passed 56-14-3. Senate passed 27-5 and sent to Governor. This bill extends designated wastewater and sewer service areas for at least 180 days, but no longer than three years; and revises aspects of the wastewater management planning process.

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Government Reform
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Pension and Benefits Reform - S-2100
(Sweeney/D-3; Ruiz/D-29; Moriarty/D-4; Barnes/D-18; Addiego/R-8; Vainieri Huttle/D-37; Greenstein/D-14):

Assembly passed 76-0 and sent to Governor. This bill prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in a state-administered retirement system or public employee health care benefits plan.

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Cost Savings - S-3148
(Norcross/D-5; Turner/D-15; Greenwald/D-6; Moriarty/D-4; DeAngelo/D-14; Singleton/D-7; Green/D-22; Bramnick/R-21):

Assembly passed 62-11-2. Senate passed 33-2 and sent to Governor. This bill establishes procedures for districts, municipalities or voters to move annual school elections to the date of the general elections in November, and eliminates a general vote on school budgets for such districts, except in cases of separate spending proposals that exceed the tax cap.

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Health
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Health Insurance Mandate - S-1834
(Madden/D-4; Sarlo/D-36; Egan/D-17; Singleton/D-7):

Assembly passed 68-2-5 and sent to Governor. This bill requires health insurers to cover oral cancer medications on the same basis as they cover intravenous cancer medications. The bill also prohibits a contract or policy from imposing an increase in patient cost sharing for either intravenous or oral cancer medications that are covered under the contract or policy as of the effective date of the bill. This mandate will increase health care costs for employers, who are already struggling to afford health insurance premiums.

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Labor
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Unemployment Insurance - S-3186
(Madden/D-4; Sarlo/D-36; Egan/D-17; Singleton/D-7):

Senate passed 38-0. Assembly passed 74-0 and sent to Governor. This bill allows unemployed New Jersey workers to continue to receive unemployment benefits.

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Regulation
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Small Business Regulatory Relief - A-2129
(Chivukula/D-17; McHose/R-24; Burzichelli/D-3):

Senate passed 37-0. Assembly passed 73-0 and sent to Governor. This bill requires an agency to conduct a review of rules that are up for re-adoption, ensuring that they have minimal impact on small businesses. The bill updates the NJ Regulatory Flexibility Act so that it is consistent with the provisions of a model bill endorsed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Consumer Benefits - A-3133
(Riley/D-3; Coughlin/D-19; Burzichelli/D-3):

Governor signed P.L.2011, c.164. This bill permits the use of rebates, allowances, concessions or benefits for motor fuel purchases on credit, debit or rewards cards. Currently, New Jersey is the only state in the region that does not allow consumers to earn discounts on gasoline through frequent shopper cards or debit cards. This would give New Jersey consumers the same access to these promotions as other states.

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Trenton Watch Archive