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Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the Business Community:

Economic Development
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Revises BEIP Tax Credit Schedule
S-2376 (Sarlo/D-36)
A-4002 (Greenstein/D-14)

Senate passed 27-10 and Assembly passed 66-9-0, sent to Governor. Delays the payments schedule for businesses that were awarded grants under the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP). This bill revises the priority schedule to issue converted tax credits to the oldest, outstanding grant awards that have been accrued but not paid to businesses from 2008 to 2013 over a five-year period. In the first year, businesses will receive a tax credit that totals 5 percent of the amount of the grant. In the second year, the tax credit will be 20 percent of the grant, and the subsequent three years would be 25 percent each, totaling a hundred percent of the grant accrued but not paid over 5 years. While the State Chamber recognizes the current fiscal challenges of our state, implementing a delayed BEIP payment schedule will harm the state's ability to encourage companies to relocate and expand in New Jersey.

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Extends Permits for Superstorm Sandy-impacted Counties
A-3617 (Green/D-22; Rible/R-30; Mukherji/D-33; Houghtaling/D-11; Mazzeo/D-2)
S-2390 (Sarlo/D-36; Kyrillos/R-13)

Assembly 78-0-0. Extends expiration date of certain permits for one year in Superstorm Sandy-impacted counties. Gaining a permit extension is difficult and costly, resulting in once-approved permits to expire or lapse. This causes lenders to re-appraise and subsequently lower real estate valuations, thereby requiring the reclassification of numerous loans, which affect the developer's ability to apply for future loans. Under this bill, nine counties in New Jersey would have their permits extended to December 31, 2016.

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Education
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Establishes New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships
A-1668 (Schaer/D-36; Jasey/D-27; Johnson/D-37; Zwicker/D-16; Giblin/D-34; Downey/D-11; Wimberly/D-35)
S-354 (Kean/R-21)

Assembly passed 68-4-7. Establishes the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships in the Department of State. The commission includes a representative from the State Chamber appointed by the Governor. The purpose of the commission is to explore how to best foster innovation in pharmaceutical, biosciences, biotechnology, information technology and telecommunication fields in New Jersey through public-private partnerships between the business community and institutions of higher education. This commission will make New Jersey more competitive in these thriving industries.

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Labor
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Provides Transition Period for Building Service Employees
A-3907 (Giblin/D-34; Singleton/D-7; Quijano/D-20)

Assembly passed 53-26-0. This bill would require that, upon entering or terminating a contract for building services (which includes, but is not limited to, janitorial, building maintenance, landscaping and security services) or transferring ownership of a building, the successor contractor or building owner retain the prior business's employees for a 90-day period. This legislation would favor one group of employees at the expense of others by imposing onerous requirements on nonunionized businesses, thereby increasing costs and significantly reducing employer flexibility in hiring for the provision of these services.

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Legal
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Revises Foreign Country Money-Judgement Recognition
A-2977 (Diegnan/D-18; Coughlin/D-19)
S-2268 (Diegnan/D-18)

Assembly passed 78-0-0. Replaces existing statutes concerning the recognition of foreign country judgments that grant or deny recovery of a sum of money. New Jersey's current, outdated law allows plaintiffs to secure judgments in foreign courts, where the procedural protections of the U.S. legal system do not apply, and then collect that judgment domestically. The State Chamber believes this may allow the State to become a target for attempts to enforce abusive foreign judgments in the U.S. This legislation ensures a neutral, balanced system that gives parties the opportunity to contest recognition of judgments.

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Pension
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Mandates Pension Payments
ACR-109 (Prieto/D-32; Jimenez/D-32; Giblin/D-34; Caputo/D-28; DeAngelo/D-14; Benson/D-14)
SCR-2 (Sweeney/D-3; Turner/D-15; Greenstein/D-14)

Assembly passed 50-26-2. Proposes a constitutional amendment that mandates quarterly payments to fund the pensions of public employees. Under this proposal, future governors and legislators will not have any maneuverability regarding the pension payments regardless of the state's economic conditions. The State Chamber believes this proposal will severely impact the state's fiscal stability, which will ultimately have a negative effect on our effort to create jobs and grow our economy.

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Transportation
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Transportation Trust Fund
A-10 (Prieto/D-32; Huttle/D-37; McKeon/D-27; Schaer/D-36; Sumter/D-35; Caputo/D-28; Mukherji/D-33; Singleton/D-7; Pintor Marin/D-29; Giblin/D-34; Rible/R-30)

Assembly passed 54-22-0. All revenue generated by the petroleum tax and the motor fuels tax will be dedicated to financing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The Assembly's version of the bill does not include a tax on jet fuel. The TTF Authority will be granted $12 billion in bonding authorization and $16 billion in state budget funds over eight years towards maintaining and upgrading the state's transportation infrastructure. The bill also enhances transparency through several measures, including the creation of a TTF project website; the establishment of a Transportation Policy Review Board to analyze policies and costs; and the establishment of an Annual Transportation Capital Program Approval Committee to coordinate transportation projects. Infrastructure is the foundation of New Jersey's economy and this long-term and sustainable solution will be an enormous boost to making the state more competitive, and helping to create and retain jobs.

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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