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Trenton Watch - July 1, 2013

 

TRENTON WATCH   

 

July 1, 2013  

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is tracking legislation and other items important to the business community: 

  

BUDGET

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee & Assembly Budget Committee

                       

FY 2014 Budget Appropriations Bill - S-3000/A-4200  (Sarlo/D-36; A.R. Bucco/R-25; Van Drew/D-1; O'Toole/R-40; Prieto/D-32; O'Scanlon/R-13) Governor signed on June 28. Senate passed 29-11. Assembly passed 52-25. Appropriates $32.98 billion in state funds and $13.43 billion in federal funds for the state budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. The State Chamber supports the following business tax reforms included in the 2014 budget: the final phase-out of the TEFA (Transitional Energy Facility Assessment); a 25 percent reduction in the minimum tax on S-corporations from 2011 levels; another phase-in of the single sales factor for calculating corporate taxes, and allowing business entities to carry forward net operating losses for up to 20 years. Additionally, the State Chamber supports the budget's full funding of both the R&D Tax Credit and the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program for businesses specializing in innovation. These reforms give New Jersey businesses the tax flexibility to grow.

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-3000 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. -  Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pennacchio, Joseph - Yes; Pou, Nellie - No; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes; Weinberg, Loretta - No

  

Assembly Budget Committee A-4200 Vote:  Prieto, Vincent (C) - Yes; Schaer, Gary S. (VC) - Abstain; Brown, Christopher J. - Yes; Bucco, Anthony M. - Yes; Burzichelli, John J. - Yes; Coutinho, Albert - Yes; Johnson, Gordon M. - Yes; O'Scanlon, Declan J., Jr. - Yes; Singleton, Troy - Yes; Watson Coleman, Bonnie - Abstain; Webber, Jay - Abstain; Wimberly, Benjie E. - No

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee & Assembly Budget Committee

FY 2013 Budget Adjustments - S-3001/A-4201 (Sarlo/D-36; O'Scanlon/R-13; Prieto/D-32): Governor signed on June 28. Senate passed 40-0.  Assembly passed 62-16. Makes FY 2013 State supplemental appropriations totaling $224.84 million, reduces FY 2013 appropriations by $398 million. These bipartisan budget adjustments are examples of fiscal restraint and smart budgeting. This bipartisan budget package will contribute favorably to New Jersey's robust economic future. 

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee S-3001 Vote: Sarlo, Paul A. (C) - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Cunningham, Sandra B. -  Yes; Greenstein, Linda R. - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Yes; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pennacchio, Joseph - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes; Weinberg, Loretta - Yes

Assembly Budget Committee A-4201 Vote:  Prieto, Vincent (C) - Yes; Schaer, Gary S. (VC) - Yes; Brown, Christopher J. - Yes; Bucco, Anthony M. - Yes; Burzichelli, John J. - Yes; Coutinho, Albert - Yes; Johnson, Gordon M. - Yes; O'Scanlon, Declan J. - Yes; Singleton, Troy - Yes; Watson Coleman, Bonnie - Yes; Webber, Jay - Yes; Wimberly, Benjie E. - Yes

COMMERCE

Call Center Relocation - S-2188/A3775 (Gordon/D-38; Weinberg/D-14; Wagner/D-38;

Eustace/D-38; DeAngelo/D-14; Benson/D-14): Governor issued an absolute veto on June 28. Passed the Senate 22-11. Passed the Assembly 50-24. Requires employers to notify the state and to return fiscal incentives granted from the state when relocating a call center from New Jersey to a foreign country. The State Chamber believes this legislation would discourage companies that are considering opening call centers in New Jersey. ContactAbideen Onigbanjo

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

Streamlining Economic Incentives - A-3680 (Coutinho/D-29; Singleton/D-7; Watson Coleman/D-15; Ramos/D-33; Green/D-22; Bramnick/R-21; Bucco/R-25; Conaway/D-7; Wimberly/D-35; Moriarty/D-4) and S-2583 (Lesniak/D-20; Kyrillos/R-13; Norcross/D-5): Senate passed 27-9. Assembly passed 68-5; needs Senate concurrence vote. Enhances and merges five of the state's economic incentive programs into the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program. The State Chamber believes enhancing the state's incentive programs will benefit small businesses, attract larger businesses to the state, and encourage new entrepreneurs - making New Jersey a formidable competitor in both the national and global economy. Contact: Michael Egenton

  

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee A-3680 and S-2583 Vote: Sweeney, Steven (C) - Yes; Sarlo, Paul A. - Yes; Stack, Brian P. (VC) - Yes; Beck, Jennifer - Yes; Bucco, Anthony R. - Yes; Lesniak, Raymond J. -  Yes; Norcross, Donald - Yes; O'Toole, Kevin J. - Abstain; Oroho, Steven V. - Yes; Pennacchio, Joseph - Yes; Pou, Nellie - Yes; Ruiz, M. Teresa - Yes; Van Drew, Jeff - Yes

  

Eminent Domain Reform  - S-2447 (Van Drew/D-1; Rice/D-28) and A-3615 (Coutinho/D-29; Bucco/R-25; Munoz/R-21): Passed the Senate 36-1. Passed the Assembly 78-0; sent to Governor. Amends the "Local Redevelopment and Housing Law" to incorporate the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Gallenthin v. Paulsboro, 191 N.J. 344 (2007). That decision clarifies the requirements a municipality must meet in order to use eminent domain. The State Chamber believes this clarification will create more opportunities for towns and developers to advance beneficial redevelopment projects throughout the state. Contact: Matt Malat

GOVERNMENT REFORM

Shared Services - S-533 (Norcross/D-5; Oroho/R-24) and A-1401 (Wilson/D-5; Chivukula/D-17; Space/R-24; McHose/R-24): Senate passed 36-2. Assembly passed 71-0; sent to Governor. Revises current law to ensure that certain statutorily-required municipal officials who earn tenure in their positions do not impede local shared service agreements. Contact: Michael Egenton 

Assembly Budget Committee A-4201 Vote:  Prieto, Vincent (C) - Yes; Schaer, Gary S. (VC) - Yes; Brown, Christopher J. - Yes; Bucco, Anthony M. - Yes; Burzichelli, John J. - Yes; Coutinho, Albert - Yes; Johnson, Gordon M. - Yes; O'Scanlon, Declan J. - Yes; Singleton, Troy - Yes; Watson Coleman, Bonnie - Yes; Webber, Jay - Yes; Wimberly, Benjie E. - Yes

Internet Database for State Rulemaking Actions - A-3755 (Ramos/D-33; Caputo/D-28; Webber/R-26; Burzichelli/D-3): Passed the Assembly 73-0. Requires the Office of Administrative Law to establish and maintain on its website a searchable database that identifies the number, nature and status of all pending rule-making actions. The State Chamber believes an open and transparent rule-making process will assist the business community in addressing various rules and regulations. Contact: Michael Egenton

HEALTH

  

6% Tax on Blood Clotting Treatment - S-2132 (Weinberg/D-37; Bateman/R-16): Senate passed 28-5. Levies a 6 percent tax on manufacturers of clotting factors which are used to treat those with risk of blood clots, and a 2 percent tax on home care companies for their use of clotting factors. The revenue generated by these new business taxes would be used to fund facilities and services provided by the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey. The State Chamber believes this onerous tax will ultimately increase health costs for employers and patients. Contact: Matt Malat  

LABOR

Suspends Employer UI TaxS-2404/ACS for A-4112, 3675 (Madden/D-4; Oroho/R-24; Eustace/D-38; Singleton/D-7; Wagner/D-38; McHose/R-24; Egan/D-17; Coughlin/D-19) Governor signed on June 28. Passed the Senate 37-0. Passed the Assembly 73-0. Suspends the 10 percent unemployment surcharge scheduled to take effect for FY-2014, saving the employer community an estimated $293 million. Specifically, the bill would base the employer unemployment insurance tax on the "E" column of the tax table, but without the 10 percent surcharge provided in the law. This legislation was a result of a recommendation by the Unemployment Insurance Task Force and will help address the need to restore solvency to the Unemployment Trust Fund. 

Contact: Michael Egenton

Impeding Privatization - S-968 (Weinberg/D-37; Turner/D-15; Vainieri Huttle/D-37; Watson Coleman/D-15): Governor issued an absolute veto on June 28.  This bill imposes additional requirements and procedures on public service privatization contracts. The State Chamber believes the goal of privatization is to provide the best services at the lowest price, which equates to cost savings for New Jersey taxpayers. Provisions in this bill will create impediments and hurdles, thereby complicating and stifling the current system. Contact: Michael Egenton

Wage Recovery - A-4124 (Lampitt/D-6; Riley/D-3; Moriarty/D-4; Mosquera/D-4): Passed the Assembly 50-23. Expands the statute of limitations governing discriminatory compensation claims under the "Law Against Discrimination". This bill goes beyond the scope of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 that caps the statute of limitations at two years.  While this bill's attempt to address pay disparity is laudable, the State Chamber believes this legislation should not expand the current statute of limitations for the recovery of lost wages. Contact: Michael Egenton 

Creates New Requirement for State Contracts - A-4044 (Lampitt/D-6; Riley/D-3; Mosquera/D-4; Johnson/D-37): Passed the Assembly 45-26; referred to Senate Labor Committee. Requires any state contractor that is not subject to the prevailing wage requirement to report - to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development - information regarding the gender, race, job title, occupational category and total compensation of every employee working in connection with the contract. The State Chamber is concerned that the mandates requiring employers to supply sensitive and private information to the State could jeopardize identity protection of employees. 

Contact: Michael Egenton  

  

Combating UI Fraud - A-3812 (DeAngelo/D-14; Space/R-24; Fuentes/D-5; McHose/R-24; Benson/D-14): Assembly passed 78-0. Requires certain state agencies to notify the state Labor and Workforce Development Department when state residents die or are incarcerated to eliminate fraud in the unemployment insurance (UI) system. The State Chamber believes this bill will act as a safeguard for the public benefit programs.  Contact:  Michael Egenton

LEGAL

    

Increases Penalties on Cigarette Counterfeiters - S-2516 (Norcross/D-5; Oroho/R-24) and A-3278 (Handlin/R-13; Barnes, III/D-18; Bucco/R-25): Senate passed 40-0. Assembly passed 74-0; sent to Governor. Increases penalties involving unstamped and counterfeit cigarettes, cigarette smuggling and various schemes to evade the cigarette tax, and imposes certain reporting requirements under the Cigarette Tax Act, N.J.S.A.54:40A-1 et seq., and the Cigarette Sales Act, N.J.S.A.54:40A-46 et seq. This bill establishes a new third degree crime of importing, selling, distributing, transporting, or possessing with intent to sell, counterfeit cigarettes. The State Chamber believes the quality and integrity of goods sold to New Jerseyans should be maintained by increasing the penalties for violations. Contact: Michael Egenton  

  

Excludes Government from Written Contracts - A-3310 (Eustace/D-38; Wagner/D-38): Assembly passed 45-32. Requires any entity (except government) that hires an independent contractor to enter into written contracts regarding the work terms, retain those agreements for six years, and provide them together with proof of timely compensation payments to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development upon request. This bill places unprecedented restrictions on the ability of parties to freely contract by requiring all contracts with sole proprietors to be in writing, thereby significantly slowing the pace of business. Contact: Michael Egenton  

  

TAXATION

Software Services Tax Exemption - S-1868/A-1331 (Van Drew/D-1; Pou/D-35; Greenwald/D-6; Singleton/D-7; DeCroce, B. /R-26):  Passed the Senate 39-0. Passed the Assembly 77-0; sent to Governor. Provides a sales and use tax exemption for services performed to prewritten computer software delivered electronically for business use. The State Chamber believes this exemption will remove tax liability from the maintenance of crucial operating systems that are essential to daily business operations. Moreover, this bill will provide our member companies with predictability, enhance New Jersey's business climate and strengthen our competitiveness.

Contact: Michael Egenton and Matt Malat