The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is tracking legislation and other items important to the business community:
Committee passed. This package of bills makes changes to the state's corporate business laws in order to keep New Jersey companies competitive in the global marketplace.
Senate Commerce Committee Vote: : Gill, Nia H. (C) - Yes; Lesniak, Raymond J. (V) - Yes; Kean, Thomas H., Jr. - Yes; Scutari, Nicholas P. - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes; Cardinale, Gerald - Abstain
Revises ISRA Exemption For Small Businesses - S-2332
Committee held. Requires the owner or operator of an industrial establishment that is applying for de minimis exemption from the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) to certify that they do not have actual knowledge of contamination exceeding remediation standards. The State Chamber believes this bill will have an impact on the overall market for commercial and industrial properties due to liability issues and potentially slow down the cleanup of brownfields.
Removes Public Entities From Environmental Liability - A-3128
(McKeon/D-27; Spencer/D-29; Giblin/D-34):
Committee passed. Removes public sewage and wastewater entities from liability issues pertaining to hazardous discharges into the Passaic River. This legislation unfairly removes public sector liability and mounts full responsibility on private industry. Ultimately, this bill would set in motion a bad public policy precedent for environmental cleanups throughout the state.
Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee A-3128 Vote: Spencer, L. Grace (C) - Yes; Gusciora, Reed (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Milam, Matthew W. - Yes; Ramos, Ruben J. - Yes; Rudder, Scott - No; Schepisi, Holly - No
Suspends Employer UI Tax - S-2404
Committee passed. Suspends the 10 percent unemployment surcharge scheduled to take effect for FY 2014, saving the employer community an estimated $293 million. Specifically, the bill would base the employer unemployment insurance tax on the "E" column of the tax table, but without the 10 percent surcharge provided in the law. This legislation was a result of a recommendation by the Unemployment Insurance Task Force and will help address the need to restore solvency to the Unemployment Trust Fund.
Senate Labor Committee S-2404 Vote: Madden, Fred H., Jr. (C) - Yes; Codey, Richard J. (VC) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes
Expands Project Labor Agreements - S-2425
Committee passed, Senate passed 23-13. Revises the definition of "public works projects" to permit project labor agreements for more projects. As detailed in many published academic research studies and independent reports, Union-only Project Labor Agreements discourage competition from nonunion contractors, reduces the number of potential bidders for the work, and potentially increases costs to taxpayers.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-2425 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (V) - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - No ; Bucco, Anthony R. - No; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; Norcross, Donald - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - No; Oroho, Steven V. - No; Pennacchio, Joseph - Abstain; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes
The Assembly Tourism and Arts Committee heard testimony regarding the 2013 tourism season, the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the rebuilding process and current and upcoming tourism marketing efforts. Guests included representatives from Atlantic City, Cape May County, East Brunswick, Essex County, Middlesex County, the New Jersey Amusement Park Association and the New Jersey Restaurant Association. The groups testified that there is a negative perception about New Jersey recovery efforts and recommended strategies for the state to properly communicate that New Jersey is open for business and tourism.
Thumbs up and down indicates the Chamber's support or opposition to issues. Call the New Jersey Chamber Government Relations Department at (609) 989-7888 with questions or comments.