The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is tracking legislation and other items important to the business community:
Senate passed 36-1. Repeals the provision of law that currently addresses lawsuits brought on behalf of a corporation by a shareholder. This legislation will help businesses avoid high costs associated with litigation, which is a major factor in private-sector decision making.
Senate passed 34-1. Allows corporate shareholders to remotely participate in meetings and clarifies remedies for dissenting shareholders. This legislation will increase participation and efficiency in shareholder meetings.
Senate passed 35-1. Allows corporations to engage in specific business combinations, such as mergers and consolidations, with interested stockholders. This legislation updates the state's corporate business laws on combinations between resident and domestic corporations and interested stockholders keeping New Jersey companies competitive in the global marketplace.
A-567 (Wagner/D-38; Gusciora/D-15; Vainieri Huttle/D-37; Conaway/D-7; Ramos/D-33):
Committee passed. Establishes a permanent moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey. The State Chamber has major concerns with the Legislature instituting a ban on hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey, particularly while a study is being conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This bill would also set a bad precedent for New Jersey as the state seeks to benefit from a needed domestic supply of natural gas to meet the goals of the Energy Master Plan.
Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee A-567 Vote: Spencer, L. Grace. (C) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J - Yes; Ramos, Ruben J. - Yes; Riley, Celeste - Yes; Rudder, Scott - No; Schepisi, Holly - Abstain
Committee held - Discussion only. Imposes water consumption and diversion user fees to fund open space and farmland preservation projects. This tax would have a detrimental impact on businesses that use a significant amount of water and would add to the cost of business operations.
Senate committee passed; Assembly passed 77-0. Prohibits state government departments and agencies from imposing a fee, fine or penalty on any applicant when it is imposed solely to correct clerical errors made by the applicant on an application for a permit, certificate or any other purpose. This legislation will provide easier regulatory access for businesses and would not apply to an applicant who provides false, misleading or fraudulent information.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee S-2412/A-3319 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (V) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Buono, Barbara - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes
Permit Review Process
S- 2499 (Whelan/D-2; Addiego/R-8) / A-3323 (Ramos/D-33; Burzichelli/D-3; Wimberly/D-35; O'Scanlon/R-13; Brown/R-2; Amodeo/R-2) / A-3324 (Ramos/D-33; Burzichelli/D-3; Amodeo/R-2; Brown/R-2; Wimberly/D-35):
Senate committee passed; Assembly passed 77-0. Requires state agencies to conduct periodic reviews of permits, licenses and certifications they issue in order to identify those that are obsolete or that can be administered through an expedited procedure. This legislation will promote efficiency in state government and help identify cumbersome requirements.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee S-2499/A-3323/A-3324 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (V) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Buono, Barbara - Abstain; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes
Senate committee passed; Assembly passed 76-1. Requires the state's administrative agencies to use technology, including the Internet, email lists and email services to streamline rule-making notices and comment procedures, and to facilitate regulatory compliance. This legislation expedites the transfer of rules and procedures and the administrative process.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee S-2507/A-3321 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (V) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Buono, Barbara - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Abstain
Review Permits to Expedite
A-3320 (Burzichelli/D-3; Ramos/D-33; Rumana (R-40):
Directs every State agency to identify permits that may be expedited by issuance of a general permit. This reform measure implements one of the findings of the "Red Tape Review Commission Findings and Recommendations" report, issued February 2012.
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6% Tax on Blood Clotting Treatment
A-2180 (Conaway/D-7; Jimenez/D-32; Sumter/D-35; Spencer/D-29):
Levies a six percent tax on manufacturers of clotting factors, which is used to treat those with risk of blood clots, and a two percent tax on home care companies for their use of clotting factors. The revenue generated by this new business tax will be used to fund facilities and services provided by the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey. The State Chamber believes this onerous tax will ultimately increase health costs for employers and patients alike.
Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee A-2180 Vote: Conaway, Herb (C) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. (V) - Yes; Angelini, Mary Pat - No; Eustace, Timothy J. - Yes; Green, Jerry - Yes; Handlin - No; Jimenez, Angelica M.- Yes; Munoz, Nancy F. - Abstain; Peterson, Erik - Abstain; Sumter, Shavonda E. - Yes; Tucker, Cleopatra G. - Yes
Suspends Employer UI Tax
S-2404 (Madden/D-4; Oroho/R-24):
Committee passed; Senate passed 37-0. 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 results from a recommendation by the Unemployment Insurance Task Force and will help address the need to restore solvency to the Unemployment Trust Fund.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-2404 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pennacchio, Joseph - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes; Weinberg, Loretta - Yes
Minimum Wage Hike
SCR-1 (Sweeney/D-3; Turner/D-15; Oliver/D-34; Eustace/D-38; Spencer/D-29):
Senate passed 22-15; Assembly Passed 46-31. Filed with the Secretary of State. This concurrent resolution proposes a ballot question that could lead to amending the Constitution to raise the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour as well as implement cost-of-living hikes based on increases in the consumer price index. The State Constitution should not be used in a manner to determine public policy and doing so would set a bad precedent.
Assembly passed 47-26. 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 and Assembly committee passed; Senate passed 35-0. The bill creates a crime and penalties for theft from cargo carriers, designated as the "Lieutenant Scott Jenkins' Law." This legislation will help deter potential cargo thieves and protect those who guard New Jersey's ports.
Senate Judiciary Committee S-2092 Vote: Scutari, Nicholas P. (C) - Yes; Gill, Nia H. (VC) - Yes; Bateman, Christopher - Yes; Cardinale, Gerald - Yes; Doherty, Michael J. - Yes; Kyrillos, Joseph M., Jr. - Yes; Lesniak, Raymond J. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Sarlo, Paul A. - Yes; Smith, Bob - Yes; Stack, Brian P. - Yes; Weinberg, Loretta - Yes
Assembly Appropriations Committee A-3003 Vote: Barnes, Peter J. (C) - Yes; Quijano, Annette (VC) - Yes; Caputo, Ralph R. - Not Voting; Carroll, Michael Patrick - Yes; Johnson, Gordon M. - Yes; McKeon, John F. - Yes; Schepisi, Holly - Yes
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.