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News & Press: Legislative Updates

Legislative Update - Week of May 18

Thursday, May 21, 2015  
Posted by: Greg Mayers
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S-2444, Regulates Renewable Energy. Senate committee passed. Requires a certain percentage of the electricity sold in New Jersey to be from Class I renewable energy.  This bill would increase the state's renewable portfolio standard to 80 percent by 2050.


S-2447, Group Purchasing of Workers' Compensation Insurance. Senate committee passed. Permits groups of employers establishing or participating in Taft-Hartley trust funds to purchase workers' compensation insurance as a group.


A-939, Tax Expenditure Disclosure. Governor issued a conditional veto. Governor Christie is recommending modifications to the bill so it would take a more holistic view of the worth of a project or investment rather than introducing a series of new performance indicators that may not accurately determine a project's net benefits. As passed by the Legislature, the bill creates additional reporting and disclosure requirements for companies that receive economic development incentives and grants.


Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

On April 29, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman testified before the Assembly Budget Committee on the progress the department is making on the Sandy recovery. The acting commissioner said that the DCA continues to be responsible for distributing nearly $4 billion. For example, the state Rehabilitation, Reconstruction Elevation and Mitigation Program has 6,800 homeowner applications compared with fewer than 2,000 last year. More than 6,000 of those applications have been approved to fund construction projects. By late summer, Acting Commissioner Richman is confident that another 2,300 grants will be approved.

Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

On May 6 and 19, New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Melissa Orsen testified before the Assembly Budget Committee and the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bulk of Ms. Orsen's comments centered on the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the state's premier business incentives program. The CEO announced that 23 projects were greenlit under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program, which will result in approximately 5,000 new permanent jobs, and 8,300 construction jobs. This investment will inject $2.1 billion of private investment into communities across the state. The GROW NJ program, another part of the Economic Opportunity Act, has resulted in the creation of 12,480 new permanent jobs and 4,100 construction jobs. GROW NJ has saved 13,830 jobs. These jobs translate into 12 million square feet of new or improved commercial space and a $1.5 billion investment in the state's economy.

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