Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:
Economic Opportunity Act of 2014, Part 3
Assembly committee passed. Makes several technical changes that clarifies provisions in the "New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013." A key change includes extending the date by which a developer seeking tax credits under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program (ERG) must submit a temporary certificate of occupancy for the project. The date was extended from July 28, 2015 to July 28, 2018. Amendments added to this latest version of the bill are being reviewed by the State Chamber.
Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee A-3213 Vote: Johnson, Gordon M. (C) - Yes; Caride, Marlene (VC) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. - Yes; DeCroce, BettyLou - Yes; Mosquera, Gabriela M. - Yes; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; Munoz, Nancy F. - Yes; Oliver, Sheila Y. - Yes; Pintor Marin, Eliana - Yes; Rumana, Scott T. - Abstain
A-1808 (Wilson/D-5; Oliver/D-34; Coughlin/D-19; Caride/D-36; Wimberly/D-35)
Assembly committee passed. Requires corporations qualifying for certain State development subsidy grants to repay the entire grant amount if a corporation fails to uphold the terms of the grant. This legislation sends the wrong message to potential companies that are looking to expand or locate their business operations to New Jersey.
Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee A-1808 Vote: Johnson, Gordon M. (C) - Yes; Caride, Marlene (VC) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. - Yes; DeCroce, BettyLou - Yes; Mosquera, Gabriela M. - Yes; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; Munoz, Nancy F. - Yes; Oliver, Sheila Y. - Yes; Pintor Marin, Eliana - Yes; Rumana, Scott T. - Abstain
Limits Height of New Construction
S-2025 (Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-16)
Senate committee passed. Prohibits any development that exceeds 35 feet in height in the Hudson River Palisades viewshed. This applies retroactively to any development for which the foundation has not been completed by May 1, 2014. This legislation specifically targets the proposed new headquarters of LG Electronics in Englewood Cliffs. The State Chamber believes this bill sets a bad precedent and sends a chilling message to companies that are looking to expand or locate their business operations to New Jersey.
Senate Environment and Energy Committee S-2025 Vote: Smith, Bob (C) - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - No; Bateman, Christopher - Yes; Codey, Richard J. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No
Superfund Status Determination
A-2340 (Greenwald/D-6; Spencer/D-29; Lagana/D-38; Pintor Marin/D-29)
Assembly passed 78-0. Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to prepare a report and conduct a public hearing prior to recommending a site for inclusion on the federal Superfund list. This bill allows environmental experts to convey data and expertise to DEP, while a site is considered for inclusion on the federal superfund list
AR-48 (Chivukula/D-17; McKeon/D-27; Gusciora/D-15; Mosquera/D-4; Vainieri Huttle/D-37)
Assembly passed 42-36. This resolution urges the Governor to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The State Chamber opposes this measure because the RGGI program was not effective in cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and the program ultimately contributed to higher energy prices for residents and businesses in New Jersey. Additionally, only ten northeastern states were part of RGGI, while states like our neighboring Pennsylvania declined.
Permit Review Process
S-1813 (Whelan/D-2; Oroho/R-24)
Senate committee passed. 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 a more expedited procedure. The committee amended the bill to establish as an additional requirement that each State agency include a comprehensive written report highlighting action taken by the State agency to reduce the number of permits that are backlogged. This legislation will promote efficiency in state government and help expedite permits.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee S-1813 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (VC) - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Rice, Ronald L. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes
Mandates Coverage of "Off-Label" Uses of Drugs
A-1932 (Conaway/D-7; Vainieri Huttle/D-37; Sumter/D-35)
Assembly committee passed. Requires insurance coverage of "off-label" uses of drugs in the state's regulated individual and small employer markets and the state employee health plans. "Off-label" use is a legal practice in which a drug is used for a specific treatment that has not been approved by the FDA. The State Chamber is seeking amendments, such as incorporating stricter criteria for requiring an insurance carrier to cover off-label uses of drugs, as recommended by the Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission.
Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee A-1932 Vote: Conaway, Herb (C) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. (V) - Yes; Angelini, Mary Pat - Yes; Cryan, Joseph - Yes; Eustace, Timothy J. -Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Green, Jerry - Yes; Handlin, Amy H. - Yes; Jimenez, Angelica M. - Yes; Munoz, Nancy F. - Yes; Peterson, Erik - No; Sumter, Shavonda E. - Yes
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program
SR-64 (Gill/D-34; Kean/R-21)
Senate committee passed. Urges Congress to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program in order to maintain stability in the insurance and reinsurance markets. In the post-9/11 landscape, businesses and residents need assurance that their assets are protected and can be replaced in the aftermath of a terrorist attack or incident. This federal program provides needed assistance to insurers in high risk areas.
Senate Commerce Committee SR-64 Vote: Gill, Nia H. (C) - Yes; Lesniak, Raymond J. (VC) - Yes; Beach, James - Yes; Cardinale, Gerald - Yes; Kean, Thomas H. - Yes; Scutari, Nicholas P. - Yes
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program
Assembly passed 77-0-1. Urges Congress to reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program in order to maintain stability in the insurance and reinsurance markets. In the post-9/11 landscape, businesses and residents need assurance that their assets are protected and can be replaced in the aftermath of a terrorist attack or incident. This federal program provides needed assistance to insurers in high risk areas.
"Ban the Box"
S-2124 (Cunningham/D-31; Lesniak/D-20; Ruiz/D-29)
Senate committee passed. Prohibits an employer in the initial job application process from asking job candidates about their criminal history. While the amended version of the bill addresses certain liability concerns, the State Chamber remains opposed to this measure based on principle and the intervention on business operations and the hiring process.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-2124 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Not Voting; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Not Voting; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes
Increase in Workers' Compensation Payments
S-929 (Sweeney/D-3; Madden/D-4)
Senate committee passed. Imposes a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on workers' compensation benefit rates for certain cases that occurred after 1980. While the intent of the legislation is admirable, the State Chamber cannot disregard the $165 million per year cost associated with full implementation. Calculations estimate that paying a nearly 34-year COLA in just three years will produce an estimated 6 percent increase in workers' compensation premiums.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-929 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - No; Bucco, Anthony R. - Not Voting; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Not Voting; Oroho, Steven V. - No; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Abstain; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes
Providing Interns with Legal Recourse
Senate committee passed. Provides legal protections and remedies for persons engaged in unpaid internships with employers. It does so by adding unpaid interns to the provisions of the "Law Against Discrimination," the "Conscientious Employee Protection Act," and the "Worker Freedom From Employer Intimidation Act." The State Chamber is concerned that the legislation may have unintended consequences and make it problematic for employers to hire unpaid interns because of potential liability concerns.
Senate Labor Committee S-539 Vote: Madden, Fred H. (C) - Yes; Vitale, Joseph F. (VC) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Not Voting; Cunningham, Sandra B. - 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.