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Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:

Economic Development
Thumbs Up

Permit Extension Act
A-3815 (Green/D-22; Burzichelli/D-3; Singleton/D-7; Johnson/D-37; Diegnan/D-18; Moriarty/D-4; Rible/R-30; Dancer/R-12; Garcia/D-33; Bramnick/R-21)

The Governor signed into law. This bill pushes back the expiration date of permit approvals to December 31, 2015. The legislation includes the clarification of the phrase "extension area" to ensure that approvals in these areas remain valid. The State Chamber supports this legislation as a necessary continuation of the Permit Extension Act of 2008, which was previously extended in 2010 and 2012. The poor economic climate has severely affected the state's banking, real estate and construction sectors. Businesses cannot easily obtain financing under existing economic conditions and in some cases are forced to delay scheduled projects that have already been approved by a government entity and granted permits. Such delays result in some of these permits expiring before the projects are completed. Given that the permit application process is extremely time consuming and expensive, it makes sense to allow additional time for stalled projects to be completed.

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Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee
Support with Changes

Microenterprise Assistance
A-953 (Singleton/D-7; Eustace/D-38; Mosquera/D-4; Sumter/D-35; Benson/D-14; Quijano/D-20; Wimberly/D-35)

Assembly committee passed. Provides counseling and assistance to microbusiness startups. The bill was amended at the request of the State Chamber to ensure experienced business counselors provide advice and assistance to those seeking entrepreneurship. Staff will continue to work with the sponsor on additional amendments that will ensure that the loan and grant program remains permissive and flexible.

Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee A-953 Vote: Johnson, Gordon M. (C) - Yes; Caride, Marlene (VC) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. - Yes; Bucco, Anthony M. - Yes; DeCroce, BettyLou - Yes; Mosquera, Gabriela M. - Yes; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; Munoz, Nancy F. - Yes; Oliver, Sheila Y. - Not Voting; Pintor Marin, Eliana - Yes

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Environment
Senate Environment and Energy Committee
Thumbs Up

Sustainability Plan for State House
S-2692 (Smith, B. /D-17; Greenstein/D-14)

Senate committee passed. This bill would require the State Capitol Joint Management Commission to prepare, adopt, and implement an environmental sustainability plan for the State Capitol complex. Instituting a sustainability plan within a government building will demonstrate to the private sector that the public sector is leading by example.

Senate Environment and Energy Committee S-2692 Vote: Smith, Bob. (C) - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. (VC) - Yes; Bateman, Christopher - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes

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Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Thumbs Down

RGGI
A-1763 (McKeon/D-27; Stender/D-22; Gusciora/D-15; Vainieri Huttle/D-37) and
S-151 (Sweeney/D-3; Smith/D-17; Barnes/D-18)

Assembly committee passed. Requires participation 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.

Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee A-1763/S-151 Vote: Spencer, L. Grace (C) - Yes; McKeon, John F. (VC) - Yes; Benson, Daniel R. - Yes; Rumana, Scott T. - No; Simon, Donna M. - No; Wisniewski, John S. - Yes

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Labor
Assembly Labor Committee
Thumbs Down

Providing Interns with Legal Recourse
A-3529 / A-2136 (Lampitt/D-6; Quijano/D-20; Diegnan/D-18; Caride/D-36)

Assembly 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. 

Assembly Labor Committee A-3529/A-2136 Vote: Egan, Joseph V. (C) - Yes; Sumter, Shavonda E. (VC) - Yes; Coughlin, Craig J. - Yes; Dancer, Ronald S. - Abstain; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; O'Donnell, Jason - Yes; Quijano, Annette - Not Voting; Space, Parker - No; Webber, Jay - Yes

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Regulation
Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee
Thumbs Up

Regulatory Reform
A-1879 (Burzichelli/D-3; Coughlin/D-19; Space/R-24; Lagana/D-38) and
A-3804 (Casagrande/R-11; Lagana/D-38; Gusciora/D-15; Webber/R-26; Singleton/D-7)

Assembly committee passed. These reform bills streamline the regulatory process by establishing new procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act to allow substantial changes to state agency rule-making. Additionally, the agencies are required to periodically review rules and regulations to ensure continued effectiveness.

Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee A-1879 Vote: Eustace, Timothy J. (VC) - Yes; Brown, Chris A. - Yes; Fiocchi, Samuel L. - Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Lampitt, Pamela R. - Yes

Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee A-3804 Vote: Eustace, Timothy J. (VC) - Yes; Brown, Chris A. - Yes; Fiocchi, Samuel L. - Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Lampitt, Pamela R. - Yes

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Transportation
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
Thumbs Up

Transportation Sustainability Procurement Program Act
S-2159 (Barnes/D-18)

Senate committee passed. Directs the Division of Purchase and Property to develop a sustainability program for the State's procurement of shipping and transportation services for freight, small package delivery, and other forms of cargo. Reducing tailpipe pollution from our nation's transportation sector will help towards the goal of emission reduction and improve overall air quality.

Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee S-2159 Vote: Turner, Shirley K. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beach, James - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - No; Thompson, Samuel D. - Yes

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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.

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