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2020 Legislative Overview

Introduction

It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all aspects of life for residents and businesses causing unprecedented challenges for the business community and state’s overall economic health.
It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all aspects of life for residents and businesses causing unprecedented challenges for the business community and state’s overall economic health. Despite the difficulties presented this year, the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) continued its steadfast advocacy in Trenton on behalf of our members.
 
On March 12, the CCSNJ testified on the original proposed FY2021 State Budget before the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee at Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business. A mere four days later on March 16 Governor Phil Murphy announced extensive measures directing nearly all residents to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This included the mandatory closure of all physical retail businesses deemed to be nonessential. The state budget process also ground to a halt, with government taking an unprecedented step to extend the state’s fiscal year to September 30.
 
Shortly after the stay-at-home order was enacted, the CCSNJ sought crucial feedback from our members on the issue of how to best reopen the economy when it was safe to do so. As a result, more than 100 South Jersey business owners and CCSNJ members participated in the CCSNJ Economic Reopening and Recovery Working Group. After surveying Working Group members and holding upwards of 10 virtual meetings over a three week period, the CCSNJ issued the South Jersey Economic Reopening and Recovery Plan. This plan, which put forth a staggered, regional reopening approach that prioritized certain areas in South Jersey and low-risk industries for reopening as quickly and safely as possible, was submitted to Governor Murphy’s Administration, the South Jersey Congressional Delegation, the South Jersey Legislative Delegation and other key staff. However, despite the CCSNJ’s best efforts, the Governor was, and remains, extremely resistant to a geographic approach to opening and closing certain segments of the economy.
 
As the pandemic raged on, the CCSNJ remained engaged in the delayed state budget process, which included an enormous borrowing proposal deemed necessary by state government due to the pandemic’s impact on revenues. The CCSNJ testified before the Select Commission on Emergency COVID-19 Borrowing in strong opposition to the proposed issuance of $4.5 billion in General Obligation Bonds. In testimony before the Commission, the CCSNJ stated that the longstanding impact of such a sizable borrowing plan would only add to the state’s enormous debt leading to higher taxes on already overburdened residents and businesses. The issue was also taken to the New Jersey Supreme Court in a filing by New Jersey Republicans, who argued the borrowing plan to be unconstitutional. However, the plan was given the green light in a unanimous decision prior to Governor Murphy’s budget address on August 25. In its decision, the Court stated that government can only issue bonds or borrow funds due to the fiscal emergency caused by COVID-19 and not for other reasons.
 
After his court victory, Governor Murphy delivered the revised FY2021 budget address at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium. The $32.4 billion state budget proposal called for new taxes, as well as tax increases, $4 billion in borrowing, some spending cuts and direct federal cash assistance.
 
After abbreviated budget hearings that did not allow for public testimony, only written testimony from groups like the CCSNJ, Governor Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin announced that a deal had been reached. The final $32.7 billion FY2021 state budget included several tax increases and measures that will impact businesses long-term, all of which the CCSNJ opposed, including: a millionaire’s tax, which would increase the rate of taxation on incomes in excess of $1 million from the current rate of 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent; reversing the January 1 Corporation Business Tax (CBT) rate decline and extending the recent 2.5 percent CBT surtax though 2023; and an increase to the current annual assessment on net written premiums of HMOs from three percent to five percent.
 
The CCSNJ remains extremely disappointed by the final FY2021 state budget, which increases taxes at a time New Jersey residents and businesses can ill-afford it.
 
In the final weeks of the year, the Legislature kept extremely busy with several controversial pieces of legislation including the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act," which legalizes personal use of cannabis for certain adults. The CCSNJ opposed this measure because it does not go far enough to protect an employers’ ability to implement workplace safety provisions. Additionally, a deal was reached on the creation of new tax incentive programs to help attract and retain businesses in New Jersey. The CCSNJ proudly supported this measure, which contained several different programs to help a wide range of businesses, while assuring the geographic spend is fairly allocated to all regions of the state, including South Jersey. To read the CCSNJ testimony, click here.
 
Though this year brought new challenges, the CCSNJ continues to fight for our members best interests from supporting COVID-19 relief efforts to opposing costly labor mandates. Despite the challenges presented, the CCSNJ weighed in on over 200 bills this year alone, nearly double that of last year’s entire legislative session. Below is a full accounting of the bills the CCSNJ has engaged on this year, including their current status and a link to the CCSNJ’s full position statement, if applicable. The CCSNJ team looks forward to working tirelessly for our members in the New Year and, as always, welcomes your feedback, comments and suggestions on how we can better serve you in Trenton. 

COVID-19 Legislative Action

In March, the Assembly and Senate swiftly passed the first package of bills to help businesses mitigate the economic uncertainty they faced early to COVID-19.

In March, the Assembly and Senate swiftly passed the first package of bills to help businesses mitigate the economic uncertainty they faced early to COVID-19. Throughout the year, the Legislature continued to pass legislation as new challenges and needs arise from the pandemic’s impact. The CCSNJ has been pleased to see the Legislature’s continued focus on ensuring that businesses have the proper tools to mitigate the looming economic crisis, but was forced to oppose several measures that would place an undue burden on businesses, as well. A full list of the COVID-19 related bills that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

A-3845 / S-2284 (Freiman/Greenwald/Dancer/Stack): Authorizes EDA to make grants during periods of emergency declared by Governor and for duration of economic disruptions due to emergency; allows EDA to grant certain business documentation submission deadline extensions.

      • This bill passed both houses on March 19 and was signed by the Governor on March 20.
      • To read the statute, click here.

 

A-3841/S-2300 (Pintor Marin/Bramnick/Sarlo/Bucco): Automatically extends time to file gross income tax or corporation business tax return if federal government extends filing or payment due date for federal returns.

      • This bill passed both houses on March 19. The Governor vetoed the bill on May 4.
      • To read the veto message, click here.

 

A-3846 /S-2293 (Sumter/Chaparro/Madden/Lagana): Creates "Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program;" allows persons to claim for lost wages due to coronavirus disease 2019, and employers to pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by licensed healthcare practitioner; appropriates $20,000,000.

      • The bill passed both Houses on March 19. The Governor vetoed the bill on May 4.
      • To read the veto message, click here.

 

A-3848/S-2301 (Lopez/Weinberg): Concerns time off from work in connection with infectious disease.

      • The bill passed both houses March 19 and the Governor signed the bill on March 20.
      • To read the statute, click here.

 

AJR- 158/ SJR-77 (DeAngelo/Cruz-Perez): Urges FCC to take temporary measures to secure broadband access for those affected by COVID-19.

      • The bill passed both houses March 19 and the Governor signed the bill on March 20.
      • To read the statute, click here.

 

A-3857/A-2275 (Coughlin/Cyran): Makes FY 2020 supplemental appropriations of $15 million for grants to food banks.

      • The bill passed both houses on March 19 and the Governor vetoed the bill on March 20.
      • To read to veto message, click here.

 

A-3959/S-2371 (Mukherji/Gopal): Establishes the “New Jersey Hospitality Emergency Loan Program” within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to provide no-interest loans to qualified small hospitality businesses; makes $100 million appropriation to the NJEDA from federal funds.

      • The bill passed both houses May 14. The Governor vetoed the bill on June 29.
      • To read the veto message, click here.

 

A-3861/S-2290 (Karabinchak/Johnson/Greenwald/Diegnan): Permits corporations to hold shareholders' meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication during state of emergency.

      • This bill passed both houses on March 19 and was signed by the Governor on March 20.
      • To read the statute, click here.

 

A-4030/S-2347 (Mukherji/Benson/Sweeney/Kean): Establishes the “Employment and Business-Related Tax Deferral Assistance Program” in the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which would allow small businesses to defer the payment and remittance of certain employment and business-related taxes during COVID-19 public health emergency.

      • The bill was passed by the Senate on April 14 and the Assembly Appropriations committee on May 7. It awaits a vote by the full Assembly.

 

A-3965 (Moen/Greenstein/Cruz-Perez): Expands the existing New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) loan program to include certain small producers and retailers of alcoholic beverages.

 

A-4131/S-2478 (Sweeney)Requires the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to establish sanitization guidelines for hotels operating in New Jersey.

 

S-2380 (Sweeney/Singer/Greenstein)Creates a rebuttable presumption that health care workers, public safety workers, and other essential employees who contract COVID-19 at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and other employment benefits provided for work-related injuries and illnesses.

 

S-2330/A-3908 (Pou/Jasey): The “COVID-19 Financial Security for Consumers Act,” which would prevent any creditor from attempting to collect, even by a phone call, any debt as a result of COVID-19.

      • This bill passed the Senate on May 14, where amendments were made to the legislation making it much less onerous on business. It passed the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is on second reading in the Assembly.

 

S-2353/A-3938 (Cryan/Quijano): Makes changes to the New Jersey "Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act," otherwise known as the New Jersey WARN Act, regarding mass layoffs resulting from COVID-19.

 

A-3919/S-2346 (Calabrese/Spearman/Sarlo/Sweeney): Extends certain permits, approvals, and deadlines during COVID-19 emergency.

      • The bill was passed by both Houses on May 14. The Governor conditionally vetoed the bill on June 25, and the Assembly concurred with the Governor’s recommendations on June 29.

 

A-3996/S-2451 (Lopez/McKnight/Karabinchak/Ruiz): Provides for waivers of contract penalties and modification of contract terms on public contracts between non-profit organizations and State agencies for failure to perform due to COVID-19 pandemic.

 

S-2522/A-4190 (Sarlo/Sweeney/Schepisi): Permits restaurants, bars, and breweries to sell food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages if so licensed, to customers while outdoor dining in certain public right-of-ways during the COVID-19 emergency.

      • The bill passed the Senate unanimously on June 15 and passed the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on June 18. The bill awaits a vote by the full Assembly.

 

S-2542 (Diegnan/Sarlo): Allows a municipality to suspend certain zoning requirements in order to facilitate the ability of a business to resume operations during the COVID-19 emergency.

      • The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate on June 15 and awaits a hearing in the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

 

S-2437/A-3978 (Gopal/Cryan/DiMaso/Quijano): Limits service fees charged to restaurants by third-party food takeout and delivery applications during COVID-19 state of emergency.

      • Governor Murphy signed the bill into law on June 26.
      • To read the Governor’s statement on the bill signing, click here.

 

A-4031/S-2398 (Greenwald/Sweeney/Brown): Requires the State Treasurer to allow for loans to casino gaming properties to assist in making the required payments in lieu of property taxes to Atlantic City amid the COVID-19 crisis.

 

A-3966/S-2413 (Burzichelli/Freiman /Gopal/O’Scanlon): Concerns the delivery and sale of alcoholic beverages during the COVID-19 pandemic and requires the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to notify licensees of certain tax exemptions during the emergency.

      • Governor Murphy signed this bill into law on May 15.
      • To read the statute, click here.

 

A-4319 (Burzichelli): Establishes certain temporary and permanent privileges for certain alcoholic beverage licensees; authorizes certain activities, events, and festivals in which certain alcoholic beverage licensees may participate.

      • The bill passed the Assembly on June 29. It awaits a hearing in the Senate.

 

SCR-111 (Holzapfel/Gopal): Urges the President and United States Congress to enact legislation forgiving community disaster loans issued after Superstorm Sandy considering the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had in New Jersey.

      • This bill passed the Senate on June 15. It awaits a hearing in the Assembly.

 

S-2596 (Ruiz / Cruz-Perez): Appropriates $5 million in federal funds to Department of Health for grants to farmers for purchase of protective health materials for farm workers.

      • This bill passed the Senate on July 30 and passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 24.

 

S- 2488 (Singleton/Scutari): Allocates $50 million to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development from federal government assistance to improve unemployment insurance benefit claims processing capacity.

      • The bill the Senate on August 27 and awaits consideration by the Assembly Labor Committee.

 

S-2504 (Ruiz/Madden): Excludes unemployment benefits paid during the coronavirus pandemic state of emergency from the calculation of employer unemployment contributions and payments in lieu of contributions.

      • The bill passed the Senate Labor Committee on August 10 and was referred to the Senate Budget Committee.

 

S-2704 (Sweeney/Gopal/Bucco): Appropriates $30 million to NJEDA from the federal "Coronavirus Relief Fund" to assist food establishments impacted by Executive Order No. 158.

      • The bill passed both houses on August 27 and was vetoed by the Governor on October 19. To read the Governor’s veto message, click here.

 

A-4910 (Burzichelli): Establishes county-based mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during pandemic.

      • The bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on November 11 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

COVID-19 Labor Mandates

View Bills

S-989 (Weinberg/Greenstein): "Healthy Terminals Act" Requires certain airport and train station workers to be paid certain wage rates and benefits.

      • The bill passed the Senate Labor Committee on August 10 and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

S-2380/A3999 (Sweeney/Singer/Greenstein/Giblin/Burzichelli/Murphy): Creates a rebuttable presumption that health care workers, public safety workers, and other essential employees who contract COVID-19 at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and other employment benefits provided for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Business Flexibility & Workfroce Development

View Bills

A-3965 (Moen/Greenstein/Cruz-Perez): Expands the existing New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) loan program to include certain small producers and retailers of alcoholic beverages.

 

S-3011/A-4853(Madden/Greenwald): Reduces or delays increases in employer unemployment taxes related to benefits paid during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic state of emergency.

 


AR-170 (Moen):
Urges New Jersey residents to patronize small businesses to support them through COVID-19 pandemic.

      • The resolution passed the Assembly on October 29 and was filed with the Secretary of State.

 

A-485 (Webber): "Home-Based Jobs Creation Act"; classifies certain home businesses as permitted accessory uses.

      • This bill was passed out of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on October 22 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

 

S-3117/A-4803/A-4811 (Addiego/Pou/Sumter/Karabinchak/Pinkin/DeCroce/Zwicker): Concerns approval process for personal protective equipment and State stockpiles of personal protective equipment.

      • This bill passed both houses on December 17 and awaits action by the Governor.

 

S-2899 (Ruiz/Singleton): Establishes Safe Remote Learning Program in DOE to support provision of remote instruction facilities by public schools.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on October 22 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

 

S-3064 (Oroho/Sarlo): Requires State Treasurer to issue report concerning New York's taxation of New Jersey residents' income.

      • This bill passed the Senate on October 29 and awaits consideration in the Assembly.

 

S-2597/A-4589 (Gopal/Vitale/Lopez): Extends time period during which seasonal retail consumption license holders may sell alcoholic beverages following COVID-19 pandemic.

      • This bill passed both houses on November 16 and awaits action by the Governor.

 

A-4525/S-3128  (Frieman/Pou): Expands opportunities for restaurants, bars, distilleries and breweries to provide outdoor dining and permits certain farms to adjust operations in response to COVID-19 public health emergency.

      • This bill passed both houses on November 16 and awaits action by the Governor.

 

A-4330 (Schaer): "Economic Emergency Investment Stabilization Act"; allows EDA to invest in businesses impacted by major economic emergencies.

      • This bill passed out of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

 

A-1537 (Spearman): Extends economic recovery term under "Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act", bars appeal of certain property assessments by Garden State Growth Zone Development Entity.

      • This bill was passed by the Assembly on December 17 and awaits consideration in the Senate.

 

A-4631/S-2713 (Burzichelli/Sarlo): Allows for cashless payment at certain sports and entertainment venues.

      • This bill passed the Senate and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

 

A-4840/S-3015 (Burzichelli/Sweeney): Provides temporary corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for job creation related to manufacturing of personal protective equipment.

      • This bill passed the full Senate and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

COVID-19 Impacts on Atlantic City

The closure of the casinos, along with indoor dining restrictions, due to COVID-19 impacted Atlantic City impacted the surrounding region in unimaginable ways.

The closure of the casinos, along with indoor dining restrictions, due to COVID-19 impacted Atlantic City and the surrounding region in unimaginable ways. On July 14, Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver presided over the first meeting of the Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Working Group, of which CCSNJ President & CEO Christina Renna was appointed as Vice Chair. The Group, comprised of members of the existing Atlantic City Executive Council and other regional stakeholders, is examining the post-COVID-19 recovery of Atlantic City, including continued efforts for citywide economic diversification, workforce development, and improved public health. Its report is due in early 2021. A full accounting of legislation that impacted the Atlantic City region which the CCSNJ weighed in on is as follows:

A-270 (Armato/Mazzeo): Makes General Fund supplemental appropriation of $50,000 to DMVA for air quality studies to support campaign for award of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets at 177th Air National Guard base.

      • This bill passed the full Assembly and awaits consideration by the Senate.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

 

A-4031/S-2398 (Greenwald/Sweeney/Brown): Requires the State Treasurer to allow for loans to casino gaming properties to assist in making the required payments in lieu of property taxes to Atlantic City amid the COVID-19 crisis.

      • The bill passed the Assembly Budget Committee on June 1 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

 

S-2257 (Gopal/Sarlo)Allows for the deduction of promotional gaming credit from gross revenue on sports wagering.

      • The bill passed the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee on June 25. It awaits a hearing in the Assembly.

 

A-299/S1591 (Mazzeo/Armato/Beach/Brown): Allows alcoholic beverages to be consumed outdoors in the Atlantic City Tourism District.

 

A-4002 (Caputo/Dancer/Murphy): Allows for the deduction of promotional gaming credit from gross revenue on sports wagering.

      • The bill passed the Assembly on September 24 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. 

 

SCR-133 (Sarlo/Gopal): Amends State Constitution to permit sports wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on any collegiate athletic competitions.

      • A public hearing on the constitutional amendment was held on November 9.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

Non-COVID-19 Issues

Labor Mandates

The CCSNJ was disappointed that new and costly labor mandates were introduced and passed in 2020 at a time when businesses could least afford it. One of the first major issues facing business was the “New Jersey Fair Workweek Act” that Senator Loretta Weinberg introduced in January.

The CCSNJ was disappointed that new and costly labor mandates were introduced and passed in 2020 at a time when businesses could least afford it. One of the first major issues facing business was the “New Jersey Fair Workweek Act” that Senator Loretta Weinberg introduced in January. The CCSNJ joined a coalition of various business groups to oppose this legislation, which would remove an employer’s ability to create a staffing schedule that fits their business’s needs. The CCSNJ also prepared to continue its opposition to S-863 (Sweeney), which attempts to classify independent contractors as employees. The legislation, which was hotly debated in 2019, was reintroduced in the Senate in the same form as was last released from committee during the lame duck session. The pandemic stopped both bill’s momentum, but the CCSNJ will continue to remain vigilant on these important issues in the new year.  A full accounting of labor-related bills that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

A-3998/S-2476 (Murphy/Singleton): Concerns certain workers' compensation supplemental benefits for surviving dependents of essential employees who die in course of employment.

      • This bill passed the Senate and awaits a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

 

A-805/S-972 (Verrelli/Madden/Sweeney): Concerns skilled and trained workforce in work by contractors in certain industries.

      • The bill passed both houses on June 29 and was signed by the Governor on August 13. To read the statute, click here.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

Economic Growth & Workforce Development Issues

Among the new issues the Legislature was presented with this year was creating the regulatory framework for the new cannabis industry after voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational adult use marijuana.

Among the new issues the Legislature was presented with this year was creating the regulatory framework for the new cannabis industry after voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational adult use marijuana. The CCSNJ opposed the bill for several reasons including insufficient workplace safety language and concerns around protections for a drug-free workplace. Despite these concerns, the Legislature passed this measure on December 17. However, the Legislature made positive movements in the workforce development arena, specifically in the area of apprenticeship programs, which the CCSNJ was proud to support. A full accounting of Workforce and Economic Development issues that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

A-2775 (Houghtaling): Makes pilot program for special occasion events at wineries on preserved farmland permanent program.

      • This bill was passed out of the Assembly Agriculture Committee on February 12 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

ACR-117(Houghtaling): Determines that State Agriculture Development Committee rule to implement pilot program allowing certain wineries to hold special events is inconsistent with legislative intent.

      • This bill was passed out of the Assembly Agriculture Committee on February 12 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

S-309 (Rice/Greenstein): Establishes Energy and Manufacturing Workforce Development Program in DOLWD.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Labor Committee and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

S-440 (Oroho/Singleton): Establishes Office of Labor Law Enforcement.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

S-718 (Addiego/Singleton): Provides tax credits to certain employers of employees less than 18 years old.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

S-594(Beach/Greenstein): Creates "New Jersey Life Sciences Internship Challenge" program.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Economic Growth Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-1157(Ruiz/Cruz-Perez): Establishes Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program in EDA.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Economic Growth Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

A-1431(DeCroce/Zwicker): Provides assistance to manufacturing businesses by having certain State agencies promote economic development and identify credentials needed for careers in modern manufacturing.

      • This bill passed out of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on March 5 and awaits a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-2624 (Murphy/Holley): Establishes a manufacturing reinvestment account program to incentivize capital investment and workforce training in New Jersey with income tax rate reductions, deferrals, and accelerated deductions.

      • This bill passed out of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on March 5 and awaits a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AR-90 (Mosquera/Murphy/Mazzeo): Urges certain New Jersey State officials to raise awareness in business community of existing "State of New Jersey - NJ Business Portal" website.

      • The resolution passed the Assembly on September 24.

S-2512 (Scutari/Singleton): Directs the State Auditor to audit the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in DOLWD.

      • The bill was passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on August 8 and awaits consideration by the full senate.

S-1196/A-3062 (Pou/Pintor Marin): Establishes three year Financial Empowerment Pilot Program.

      • This bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

S-688 (Ruiz/Singleton): Enhances, and allocates funds for, pre-apprenticeship programs.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on January 27 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

S-689 (Ruiz/Singleton): Concerns NJ PLACE, allocates $300,000 for FY2020.

      • This bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on January 27 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

S-488 (Brown/Beach): Establishes "County Tourism Incentive Grant Fund" within Department of Treasury to provide funding for grants to counties to support tourism advertising and promotion.

      • This bill passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

A-2773 (Mazzeo): Allows certain preserved farms to hold 14 special occasion events per year; imposes further event restrictions on residentially exposed preserved farms.

S-1158 (Ruiz/Pou): Provides tuition fee waiver apprenticeship courses.

      • The bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on August 10 and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-1159 (Ruiz/Greenstein): Provides corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for businesses that employ apprentices in DOL registered apprenticeships.

      • The bill passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on August 10 and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

A-1269 (Greenwald): Eliminates one percent tax on purchasers of Class 4A commercial property transferred for consideration in excess of $1 million.

      • This bill passed the full Assembly on December 17 and awaits consideration in the Senate.

A-2226 (Dancer): Suspends fines for certain first-time paperwork violations committed by small businesses.

      • This bill was passed out of the Assembly Appropriations committee and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

A-4809/S-3007 (Pintor Marin/Sarlo): Revises, clarifies, corrects, and simplifies various aspects of CBT.

      • This bill passed both houses on October 29 and was signed by the Governor on November 4.

A-4810 (Pinkin): Establishes Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission.

      • This bill passed the Assembly on November 16 and awaits consideration by the Senate.

AR-193 (Mazzeo): Urges federal government to raise state and local tax deduction to $25,000.

      • The resolution was passed by the Assembly and filed with the Secretary of State on October 29.

S-1162 (Turner): Allows corporation business tax and gross income tax credits to businesses employing qualified ex-offenders.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee on October 22 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

SJR-30 (Pou): Designates second week of June of each year as "Kids Entrepreneurship Awareness Week."

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee on October 22 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

A-3756/S-1957 (DePhillips/Zwicker/Greenstien/Oroho): Supports activities of New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.

      • This bill passed both houses on October 29 and was vetoed by the Governor on December 14. To read the Governor’s veto message, click here.

A-4905/ S-3045 (Moen/Sweeney): Allows health insurers to provide certain health care benefit plans to local boards of education and eligible employers who do not participate in SEHBP; modifies employee contribution for New Jersey Educators Health Plan and its equivalent.

      • This bill passed both houses on November 16 and was signed by the Governor on December 18.

S3015/A4840 (Sweeney/Burzichelli): Provides temporary corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for job creation related to manufacturing of personal protective equipment.

      • This bill passed the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committee. It awaits a vote by the full Assembly.

S-1958 (Cruz-Perez): “New Jobs for New Jersey Act,” which establishes a tax credit program to small employers who increase their workforce by hiring unemployed workers. 

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on December 10 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget Committee.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

S-3046 /A-4875 (Ruiz/Pou/Pintor Marin/Wimberly/Sumter): Extends certain document submission deadlines for Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program and Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program.

      • This bill passed both houses on December 17 and was signed by the Governor on December 23.

Transportation Issues

Despite the challenges the pandemic presented to the transportation sector, the state continued to look forward to improving its transportation infrastructure.

Despite the challenges the pandemic presented to the transportation sector, the state continued to look forward to improving its transportation infrastructure. The CCSNJ provided comments on the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) Capital Improvement Program in April. The improvements included in the program will greatly benefit the entire South Jersey region and spur economic growth at a time when the region needs it the most. However, the CCSNJ expressed grave concerns with the toll increase on the Atlantic City Expressway imploring the Authority to find new and creative revenue streams instead. The Capital Program passed, as did the toll increase despite the CCSNJ’s concerns with that specific portion of the Program.

This October, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) held public hearings on the Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL), which is the next step in the decades-long journey to establish a rail line that runs to and from these beacons of economic development for the region. The CCSNJ proudly participated in support of the GCL and will continue to champion this overdue and much needed project for the region.

A full accounting of transportation Issues that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

S-1772/A-2639 (Madden/Singleton): Authorizes issuance of Rowan University alumni license plates.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

SR-81 (Singleton): Urges the President and Congress of the United States to create National Infrastructure Bank.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee on October 22 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

Environment and Energy Issues

Despite the pandemic, the Murphy Administration continued its commitment of working towards a clean energy future.
Despite the pandemic, the Murphy Administration continued its commitment of working towards a clean energy future. The Governor unveiled the New Jersey Energy Master Plan (EMP) on January 28, which provides the roadmap to achieving the Governor’s ambitious goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The CCSNJ weighed in on the plan with comments shortly thereafter.
 
Another significant environmental action this year is the new Environmental Justice law, which the CCSNJ opposed. Although the CCSNJ supports its concept, as well as its intended goal, the new law is overly broad and will likely have an unintended consequence of making target communities less attractive for future economic growth, disproportionally impact New Jersey-based manufacturers and serve as a disincentive to expand facilities or attract out-of-state manufacturers to urban communities where the job growth is needed most. The CCSNJ remains extremely active in the rulemaking process for the new environmental justice law, providing comments, and will keep members updated as new developments occur.

A full accounting of all environmental and energy issues that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

A-3919/S-2346 (Calabrese/Spearman/Sarlo/Sweeney): Extends certain permits, approvals, and deadlines during COVID-19 emergency.

      • The bill was passed by both Houses on May 14. The Governor conditionally vetoed the bill on June 25, and the Assembly concurred with the Governor’s recommendations on June 29. To read the statute, click here.

S-2515 (Smith): Establishes recycled content requirements for plastic containers, glass containers, paper carryout bags, reusable carryout bags made of plastic film, and plastic trash bags; prohibits sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging.

      • The bill was passed out of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on December 10 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget Committee.

A-2152 (Murkerji): Provides for priority consideration, by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, and municipalities, of permit applications for green building projects.

      • This bill was passed by the Assembly Environment Committee on July 20. It awaits a vote by the full Assembly.

S-864/A-1978 (Pinkin/Smith): Prohibits the use of plastic carryout bags, expanded polystyrene, and single-use plastic straws.

      • The bill passed both houses on September 24 and was signed by the Governor on November 11.
      • To read the statute, click here.

S-232/A-2212 (Singleton/Weinberg/McKeon/VaineriHuttle/Timberlake): Requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to evaluate environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities (otherwise known as the environmental justice legislation).

A-5053/S-3212 (Chaparro/Greenstein): Amends list of environmental infrastructure projects approved for long-term funding for FY2021 to include new projects and modify estimated loan amounts for certain projects; modifies terms and conditions for certain loans utilizing federal funds.

      • This bill passed both houses on December 17 and awaits action by the Governor.

A-5054/S-3211 (Spearman/Bateman): Authorizes NJ Infrastructure Bank to expend additional sums to make loans for environmental infrastructure projects for FY2021; modifies terms and conditions for certain loan utilizing federal funds.

      • This bill passed both houses on December 17 and awaits action by the Governor.

S-3091 (Addiego): Requires developers to offer unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology as option in new construction; establishes tax incentives, and State and local purchasing preferences, for unit concrete products that utilize carbon.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-1739/A-1145 (Oroho/Beach/Freiman/Egan/Karabinchak): Establishes "Electronic Permit Processing Review System."

      • This bill passed the full Assembly and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on November 9 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

One of the CCSNJ’s six core values includes fostering an inclusive community that embraces the diversity of the companies, organizations and individuals we serve.

One of the CCSNJ’s six core values includes fostering an inclusive community that embraces the diversity of the companies, organizations and individuals we serve. All businesses are working to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and as the economy restarts, it is more important than ever to ensure that minority and women-owned businesses are part of that economic recovery as well. Additionally, the Legislature took up several important non-COVID initiatives in this space that dealt directly with the state’s Chief Diversity Officer, who is overseeing New Jersey’s Disparity Study, and new supplier diversity measures that the CCSNJ was proud to support. 

Below is a full account of bills that aligned with the CCSNJ’s core value of fostering a more diverse and inclusive community both in our region and for the businesses we serve:

S-1522 (Greenstein): Creates the “New Jersey Battlefield to Boardroom Act” that provides corporation business tax credits and gross income tax credits for qualified wages of certain veterans.

      • The bill passed the Senate on July 30. It awaits consideration by the Assembly.

S-2525 (Rice/Singleton/Turner): Expands the powers and duties of New Jersey Chief Diversity Officer to promote diversity in state government and public contracting.

      • The bill passed the Senate unanimously on June 15. It awaits consideration by the Assembly.

A-723 (Johnson/Wimberly/McKnight): Prohibits disqualification of certain minority-owned and women-owned businesses for certification.

      • The bill passed the Assembly on June 29. It awaits consideration by the Senate.

S-973/A-1408 (Ruiz/Singleton/Lopez/Reynolds-Jackson/Timberlake)Requires the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) to establish an apprenticeship mentoring program for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

A-3201/S-2585 (Murphy/Rice): Recognizes Howell House in Cape May as Harriet Tubman Museum in New Jersey.

      • The bill passed both houses on August 27 and the Governor signed the bill into law on September 17.
      • To read the law, click here.

S-855/A-3594 (Sweeney/Pennacchio): Renames "board of chosen freeholders", to "board of county commissioners" and "freeholder" and "chosen freeholder" to "county commissioner"; requires counties to update materials to reflect this title change.

SCR-96 (Rice/Cunningham): Amends State Constitution to prohibit slavery or involuntary servitude.

      • The bill was passed out of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on July 22. A public hearing was held on the constitutional amendment on October 19.

S-19/A-4315 (Sweeney/Reynolds-Jackson): Designates, as State and public holiday, the third Friday in June as Juneteenth Day.

S-2768 (Singleton/Ruiz)Authorizes State Chief Diversity Officer to conduct disparity study concerning utilization of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the State procurement process.

      • The bill passed the Senate on November 16 and awaits consideration in the Assembly.

S-2769 (Singleton/Ruiz): Establishes "Minority Business Development Program" in the NJEDA; appropriates $50 million to the NJEDA from federal funds.

      • The bill passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on September 17 and awaits consideration from the full Senate.

S-2770/A- 4516 (Singleton/Ruiz/Vaineri Huttle): Establishes the position of the Minority Depository Institution Coordinator at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

      • The bill passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on September 17 and awaits consideration from the full Senate.

S-2771 (Singleton): Establishes the "Rural Business Development Program" at the NJEDA; appropriates $35 million to the NJEDA from federal funds.

      • The bill passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on September 17 and awaits consideration from the full Senate.

S-2772 (Singleton): Establishes the "Biannual Business Matchmaker Initiative" in the Department of State.

      • The bill passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on September 17 and awaits consideration from the full Senate.

A-1070/S-2892 (Jasey/Pou/Kean): Requires Secretary of Higher Education to develop guidance for institutions of higher education to identify cultural barriers in recruitment and retention of underrepresented students for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

      • This bill passed the Assembly on August 27 and passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on October 19. It awaits consideration from the full Senate.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry proved itself incredibly resilient this year and we applaud the hard work of the frontline healthcare workers.

The healthcare industry proved itself incredibly resilient this year and we applaud the hard work of the frontline healthcare workers. A full accounting of all healthcare issues that the CCSNJ weighed in on are as follows:

A-3854/S-2286 (Conaway/Vitale): Authorizes licensed health care facilities and laboratories to develop and administer coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test.

      • The bill passed both houses on March 19 and the Governor signed it on March 20.
      • To read the statute, click here.

A-3860/ S-2289 (Pinkin/Vitale): Establishes certain requirements to use telemedicine and telehealth to respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

      • The bill passed both houses and was signed by the Governor on March 19.
      • To read the statute, click here.

A-1135/S-357/S-624 (Coughlin/Karabinchak/Vainieri Huttle/Sarlo/Cryan/Vitale/Singleton): Reinstates prior property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals with on-site for-profit medical providers; requires some of these hospitals to pay community service contributions; establishes Nonprofit Hospital Community Service Contribution Study Commission; prohibits certain third-party property tax appeals.

      • This bill passed both houses December 17 and awaits action by the Governor.

A-4389/S-2676 (McKeon/Vitale): Requires certain entities authorized to issue health benefits plans to pay annual assessment.

A-5119/S-3218 (McKeon/Pou): Provides for reorganization of health service corporation.

      • This bill passed both houses on December 17 and was signed by the Governor on December 23.
      • To read the CCSNJ position on this bill, click here.

Affordability Issues and Other Odds & Ends

The CCSNJ weighed on several bills impacting the State’s budget. Over the years, the CCSNJ urged state government to reduce expenses and make necessary changes that will provide real and lasting savings for property taxpayers.

The CCSNJ weighed on several bills impacting the State’s budget. Over the years, the CCSNJ urged state government to reduce expenses and make necessary changes that will provide real and lasting savings for property taxpayers. We were proud to support bills in Senator Sweeney’s "Path to Progress" package that attempt to do just that, such as S-1 (Sweeney): Encourages sharing of services; makes appropriations.

S-1 (Sweeney): Encourages sharing of services; makes appropriations.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on November 9 and awaits a hearing in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-563 (Madden/Sweeney): Restricts authority to terminate reciprocal personal income tax agreements with other states.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on November 9 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. To read the CCSNJ position, click here.
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SCR-91 (Weinberg): Proposes constitutional amendment to allow certain organizations to use proceeds from games of chance to benefit organization.

      • This bill was passed out of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee on December 14 and awaits consideration by the full senate.
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Your Feedback is Important to Us!

For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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