Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:
Expands Angel Investor Tax Credit Act
S-158 (Madden/D-4; Cruz-Perez/D-5)
Senate passed 37-2. Senate committee passed. Expands eligibility for tax credits under the "New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act" to include investments in the holding company of a qualified New Jersey emerging technology business. This legislation will expand and encourage investment in emerging technology firms, such as advanced computing, biotechnology, life sciences, medical device technology, mobile communications technology and renewable energy technology.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-158 Vote: Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Bateman, Christopher - Yes; Beach, James - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; Holzapfel, James W. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Scutari, Nicholas P. - Yes; Sweeney, Stephen M. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No
S-981 (Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-29; Greenstein/D-14)
Regulates E-Waste - S-981 (Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-29; Greenstein/D-14): Senate passed 30-6. Requires manufacturers of electronics to provide for the collection, transportation, and recycling of its market share in weight of disposed electronics collected in a program year. The State Chamber opposes this legislation because it shifts financial responsibility from recyclers to current New Jersey manufacturers and grants the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection with unlimited authority to establish expensive recycling mandates on any electronic product.
Renewable Energy Requirement
S-1707 (Smith/D-17; Bateman/R-16; Gordon/D-38)
Senate passed 23-15. Requires a certain percentage of the electricity sold in this state to be from Class I renewable energy. The percentage of electricity sold in this state that is from Class I renewable energy is to increase once every five energy years between 2015 and 2050. The State Chamber sees this as an onerous requirement, and believes the business community needs diversified energy options that are reliable, resilient and affordable.
Blocks DEP Rule
SCR-66 (Lesniak/D-20; Smith/D-17)
The Chairman asked for the bill to be held to provide the DEP time to make changes. Prohibits adoption of DEP's proposed rules and regulations to revise its Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules, Coastal Zone Management Rules, and Stormwater Management Rules. The State Chamber disagrees with the resolution. The proposed rules and regulations are the product of years of work from various stakeholders and maintains the DEP's intent on easing regulatory burdens by clarifying and consolidating many sections of the rules. Additionally, the regulation will add appropriate flexibility and provide greater consistency with federal, local, and other state requirements.
A package of bills were posted for discussion only in the Senate Commerce Committee and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee to address tiered health networks. Introducing these innovative products to the market will turn the tide on rising health care costs. The State Chamber was present to relay our commentary and perspective.
One of the main influencers on business decisions remains the increasing costs of health care. Businesses are seeking diverse alternatives, including coverage tailored around patient-centered collaborations which pay for claims-based patient outcomes. Consumers have too often paid costly and redundant medical bills, which has a negative impact on a business's fiscal plan. A diverse health marketplace is what employers need to help curb their health care costs.
The State Chamber supports innovation and choice of products, which can help address the needs of the state's employers. Tiered network plans have been an outgrowth of consumer demand for greater options, greater innovation and lower costs.
Mandated Paid Sick Leave
S-799 (Weinberg/D-37; Sweeney/D-3)
Held - no Senate vote. The bill was amended on the Senate floor to clarify the use of paid time off (PTO) to satisfy the number of paid sick days required in the bill. An additional amendment voted on in committee, clarified that employers would not be subject to a disorderly persons offense under the wage and hour law and only administrative penalties under the law. Senate committee passed. Requires all employers to provide earned sick leave to each worker it employs in New Jersey, with the exemption of employees bound by a collective bargaining agreement. Employees will receive one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked. A major concern for the State Chamber is the "quasi-preemption" that will grandfather the current eleven municipalities that provide paid sick leave through a local ordinance into this version of the legislation. We believe that this does not provide a level-playing field and may have unintended consequences, setting a bad precedent regarding future legislation that seeks to set statewide standards. Additional concerns include cost of compliance for employers, liability issues, notification, finding replacement workers, and documentation.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-799 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Barnes, Peter J. - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - No; Bucco, Anthony R. - No; Cunningham, Sandra B. - Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - No; Oroho, Steven V. - No; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - No; Van Drew, Jeff - No
Tax Credit for Entertainers Performing in Atlantic City
S-351 (Kean/R-21; Whelan/D-2)
Senate committee passed. Provides for a gross income tax credit for A-list performing artists for income derived from certain live performances contracted for and rendered within the Atlantic City Tourism District and additional locations within the state. This tax credit creates a 100% state income tax exemption for top performers who commit to perform periodically in Atlantic City. The economic success of Atlantic City as a premier destination for gambling and entertainment requires additional incentives for drawing top-ranked entertainers and spectator events to the Atlantic City Tourism District and other locations in the state.
Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee S-351 Vote: Whelan, Jim (C) - Yes; Turner, Shirley K. (VC) - Yes; Cruz Perez, Nilsa - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Thompson, Samuel D. - 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.