Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:
SCR-125 (Sweeney/D-3; Smith/D-17; Barnes/D-18)
Senate committee passed. This concurrent resolution states that the language proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is not consistent with the intent of the Legislature. The State Chamber opposes this resolution 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 states were part of RGGI, and bordering Pennsylvania declined.
Senate Environment and Energy Committee SCR-125 Vote: Smith, Bob (C) - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. (VC) - Yes; Bateman, Christopher - Yes; Codey, Richard J. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No
A-1583 (Spencer/D-29; Wimberly/D-35; Lagana/D-38)
Assembly committee passed. Authorizes counties, county utilities authorities, municipalities and municipal utilities authorities that hold a combined sewer systems general permit to regulate combined sewer overflows, and to establish and maintain a stormwater utility management system financed through user fees. This bill would place an additional tax on businesses during difficult economic times.
Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee A-1583 Vote: Spencer, L. Grace (C) - Yes; McKeon, John F. (VC) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. - Yes; Rumana, Scott T. - No; Sumter, Shavonda E. - Yes; Wolfe, David W. - Abstain
Streamlines Bond Issuance
A-1065 (Schaer/D-36; Sumter/D-35)
Assembly committee passed. Eliminates the down payment requirement for counties and municipalities when they issue bonds. Under current law, most bond ordinances require at least a down payment of 5% for final adoption of the bond ordinance. While this appropriation is excluded from the property tax cap, this bill is intended to allow scarce funds to be used for other purposes of the county or municipality.
Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee A-1065 Vote: Green, Jerry (C) - Yes; Jasey, Mila M. (VC) - Yes; Auth, Robert - Yes; Clifton, Robert D. - Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; O'Donnell, Jason - Yes
State of Emergency Time Off for Employees
S-1717 (Barnes, D-18)
Senate committee passed. Prohibits an employer from taking any adverse employment actions against an employee who is unable to actively work or perform regular duties at the employer's place of business due to a declared state of emergency. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to use any sick, personal and other leave, paid or unpaid, for an absence from work during a state of emergency. While the State Chamber recognizes and appreciates the proposed amendments from the sponsor, we still remain opposed. Issues of this nature should be left to negotiations between the employer and employee and should not be subject to government intervention.
Senate Labor Committee S-1717 Vote: Madden, Fred H. (C) - Yes; Vitale, Joseph F. (VC) - Yes; Addiego, Dawn Marie - Yes; Beach, James - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - No
Employee Wage Disclosure
A-3156 (DeAngelo/D-14; Bucco/R-25)
Assembly committee passed. Shortens the time period in which certain employers are required to file reports on wages earned by their employees, and changes the date those reports are required to be filed with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This legislation creates a new bureaucratic hurdle for businesses by requiring onerous reporting
Assembly Labor Committee A-3156 Vote: Egan, Joseph V. (C) - Yes; Sumter, Shovanda E. (VC) - Yes; Auth, Robert - No; Coughlin, Craig J. - Not Voting; Dancer, Ronald S. - No; Garcia, Carmelo G. - Yes; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; O'Donnell, Jason - Yes; Space, Parker - No
Tax Expenditure Disclosure
A-939 (Singleton/D-7; Schaer/D-36; Benson/D-14; Eustace/D-38; Mosquera/D-4) / S-1403 (Greenstein/D-14)
Senate committee passed. Creates additional reporting and disclosure requirements regarding state tax expenditures, such as tax credits and economic development grants. The State Chamber believes this legislation will significantly impact New Jersey-based businesses with onerous tax reporting requirements and a sunset provision that creates uncertainty for the state's business community. Businesses have long-term budgets and rely on a predictable tax structure. The potential sunset of programs that are meant to provide tax relief will hinder general business operations.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee A-939/S-1403 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - No; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes
Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, will serve as Chairman of the Forward New Jersey Coalition. The Forward NJ coalition, established to address the state's transportation challenges, represents the business community, labor, the transportation industry, consumer groups, and transportation advocates. The coalition will focus on addressing the funding crisis facing New Jersey's aging transportation-mass transit infrastructure and the need to reform our transportation system.
ForwardNJ's mission is to educate stakeholders and the public as to the crisis we are confronting and advocate for a three-pronged approach; reform the management of the system, reduce the burden on consumers and invest revenue in a reliable, sustainable, constitutionally-dedicated fashion to move New Jersey forward.
To view all media coverage related to Forward New Jersey, please visit the news page of the ForwardNJ website: http://forwardnewjersey.com/news.php.
General Aviation Appreciation Month
SJR-55 (Pennacchio/R-26; Sacco/D-32)
Senate passed 37-0. Senate committee passed. This joint resolution designates May of each year as "General Aviation Appreciation Month" in New Jersey. Aviation contributes over $1 billion to the New Jersey economy. New Jersey's general aviation sector is an important travel option for our businesses that use their facilities.
Senate Transportation Committee SJR-55 Vote: Sacco, Nicholas J. (C) - Yes; Gordon, Robert M. (VC) - Yes; Holzapfel, James W. - Yes; Norcross, Donald - Yes; Pennacchio, Joseph - 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.