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Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:

Budget
Public Budget Hearings

On March 24 and 25, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee as well as the Assembly Budget Committee received testimony from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Government Relations team. The Chamber supported the Governor's state budget proposal which includes the final phase-in of business tax reforms. We also conveyed our support of the restructuring of the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) grant commitments into refundable tax credits, removing it from the annual budget process.

Below is the media coverage related to our testimony from the Assembly hearing in Trenton on March 24:

N.J. would lose 'economic war' without Christie's business tax breaks, chamber says (NJ Advance Media / NJ.com)

NJ millionaire's tax hike – round five another knockout? (New Jersey 101.5)

Towns Fear Merge of Local and State Pensions (NJTV)

Education
Assembly Education Committee
Nuetral

Taskforce on Standardized Testing
A-4268 (Andrzejczak/D-1; Diegnan/D-18; Johnson/D-37; Wimberly/D-35)

Assembly committee passed. The bill was amended to add a representative from the State Chamber to the 11-member Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Task Force to evaluate the administration of the PARCC assessments developed by a group of states.

Assembly Education Committee A-4268 Vote: Diegnan, Patrick J. (C) - Yes; Singleton, Troy (VC) - Yes; Caputo, Ralph R. - Yes; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Jasey, Mila M. - Yes; Jimenez, Angelica M. - Yes; Rible, David P. - Yes; Simon, Donna M. - Yes; Taliaferro, Adam J. - Yes; Wolfe, David W. - Yes

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Economic Development
Thumbs Up

Allows Parking Facilities to Qualify for Incentives
S-2458 (Pou/D-35; Sweeney/D-3)

Senate passed 34-3. Permits municipal redevelopers that enter into long-term operation and maintenance agreements with municipal parking authorities to obtain tax credits under the ERG program when they develop mixed use parking projects. The establishment of parking structures will incentivize consumers and businesses to patronize and live in newly developed or redeveloped areas.

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Environment
Thumbs Down

Stormwater Utilities
S-579 (Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-16)

Senate passed 22-15. 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 who are already paying high fees.

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Labor
Assembly Labor Committee
Thumbs Down

Localized Minimum Wage
A-3912 (Gusciora/D-15; Oliver/D-34)

Assembly committee passed. Allows local governments to raise the minimum wage within their respective jurisdictions. Allowing New Jersey's 565 municipalities to establish their own minimum wage standards will breed wage warfare and create chaos for business owners.

Assembly Labor Committee A-3912 Vote: Egan, Joseph V. (C) - Yes; Sumter, Shavonda E. (VC) - Yes; Coughlin, Craig J. - Yes; Dancer, Ronald S. - No; Mukherji, Raj - Yes; O'Donnell, Jason - Yes; Quijano, Annette - Yes; Space, Parker - No; Webber, Jay - No

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Assembly Appropriations Committee
Thumbs Down

Increase in Workers' Compensation Payments
S-929 (Sweeney/D-3; Madden/D-4) /
A-1908 (Burzichelli/D-3; Riley/D-3)

Assembly held. Assembly 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 legislation will increase the cost of workers' compensation insurance. The estimated $58 million annual cost will be paid for by increasing a $223 million annual surcharge that New Jersey employers now pay to the Second Injury Fund. It is already the second-highest such charge in the nation.

Assembly Appropriations Committee S-929/A-1908 Vote: Burzichelli, John J. (C) - Yes; Spencer, L. Grace (VC) - Yes; Brown, Chris A. - Abstain; Casagrande, Caroline - Not Voting; Fuentes, Angel - Yes; Lagana, Joseph A. - Yes; Lampitt, Pamela R. - Yes; McHose, Alison Littell - No; Vainieri Huttle, Valerie - Yes

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Taxation
Thumbs Down

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)

Assembly concurrence passed 43-31; sent to Governor. 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 would hinder general business operations.

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Transportation
Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee
Thumbs Down

Ride-sharing Legislation
A-3765 / A-3586 / A-3401 / A-3755 / A-3751 / A-3906 / A-3854 (Lagana/D-38; Singleton/D-7; Mainor/D-31; Spencer/D-29; Mukherji/D-33; McKeon/D-27; Garcia/D-33; Jimenez/D-32; Coughlin/D-19; Ciattarelli/R-16; Wisniewski/D-19)

Assembly committee passed. These bills overregulate internet ride-sharing companies by hindering the general business operations of a cutting-edge service. Internet ride-sharing companies will be subjected to more regulations than their counterparts in the livery business.

Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee A-3765/A-3586/A-3401/ A-3755/A-3751/A-3906/A-3854 Vote: Wisniewski, John S. (C) - Yes; Stender, Linda (VC) - Not Voting; Caride, Marlene - Yes; Clifton, Robert D. - No; DeCroce, BettyLou - Abstain; Garcia, Carmelo G. - Yes; Lagana, Joseph A. - Yes; Pinkin, Nancy J. - Yes; Pintor Marin, Eliana - Yes; Rumana, Scott T. - No; Rumpf, Brian E. - No; Vainieri Huttle, Valerie - 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.

Trenton Watch Archive