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220th First Quarter

Legislative Overview

Introduction

With the start of the new year and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect all aspects of life, the New Jersey Legislature stayed busy with virtual hearings focused on business and resident assistance and the state’s economic recovery, as well as taking up many non-COVID-19 related issues. The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) has remained active and engaged during these virtual hearings on behalf of our members and the entire South Jersey business community.

With the start of the new year and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect all aspects of life, the New Jersey Legislature stayed busy with virtual hearings focused on business and resident assistance and the state’s economic recovery, as well as taking up many non-COVID-19 related issues. The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) has remained active and engaged during these virtual hearings on behalf of our members and the entire South Jersey business community.

The CCSNJ was the only business organization from southern New Jersey to testify on the FY2022 state budget proposal, as delivered by Governor Phil Murphy on February 23, 2021. While there were some positives, including no new taxes or fees, there was also no measures that addressed the state’s long-term affordability crisis. The CCSNJ will remain engaged in the budget process to advocate for more government-wide cost saving measures, as well as further assistance for small, women and minority owned businesses struggling from the pandemic.

Additionally, the CCSNJ is close to finalizing a policy document on what the business community needs from state government to prepare for the “next normal” life in a post-pandemic environment. The CCSNJ looks forward to sharing this document with our members, the Murphy Administration, Legislature and other government leaders in the near future.

The CCSNJ continues to be in constant contact with the Murphy Administration and Legislature to help ascertain the information and facilitate the connections that our valued members desperately need as New Jersey begins its economic recovery from the pandemic. We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions on how we can better serve you and your thoughts on the issues the CCSNJ has weighed in on during the first quarter of 2021.

State Budget & Affordability Issues

Proposed FY2022 State Budget

On February 23, 2021 Governor Phil Murphy delivered the FY2022 state budget address via a pre-reordered speech, streamed live to the Legislature and the public. 

On February 23, 2021 Governor Phil Murphy delivered the FY2022 state budget address via a pre-reordered speech, streamed live to the Legislature and the public.

In his speech, the Governor proposed an enormous $44.8 billion budget that included no new or increased taxes or fees for the first time during his tenure in office. This proposal also included a $200 million commitment to the New Jersey Wind Port located in Paulsboro, Gloucester County, $50 million to the Main Street Recovery Program, dedicated to helping small businesses recover from the pandemic, and a sizable charity care contribution for South Jersey hospitals. Additionally, for the first time since 1996 the Governor committed to making a full pension payment, a measure the CCSNJ initially applauded but remains disappointed to learn some of the payment is likely to be made with money borrowed last fall – which the CCSNJ opposed – which will only add to the state’s long-term debt obligation. The Legislature will continue its assessment of the proposed budget over the next several months with a final budget decided no later than June 30, 2021.

To read the CCSNJ testimony on the proposed FY2022 state budget, click here.

To watch the Governor's Budget Address, click here.

To read the Governor's Budget Address, click here.

To read the Budget in Brief, click here.


A-4810/S-441 (Pinkin/Vainieri Huttle/Murphy/Oroho/Sarlo): Establishes the “Government Efficiency and Regulatory Review Commission”.

      • This bill passed both Houses on February 19 and awaits action by Governor Murphy.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

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

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on February 11 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. The Assembly counterpart, A-3389 (McKeon), has yet to be considered.

S-3488 (Sweeney/Gopal/O'Scanlon): Modifies certain procedures pertaining to school district regionalization; establishes a grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting regionalization feasibility studies; and provides financial incentives for regionalization.

      • This bill passed the full Senate on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Assembly.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.
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COVID-19 Legislation

The CCSNJ was proud to support a package of bills sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald that would provide relief to struggling restaurants and other businesses as they navigate their economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CCSNJ was proud to support a package of bills sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald that would provide relief to struggling restaurants and other businesses as they navigate their economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.


A-5133 (Greenwald/Karabinchak/Johnson): Establishes requirements for restaurants to operate during a public health emergency declared in response to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3374 (Cruz-Perez), has yet to be considered.

S-3011/A-4853(Madden/Greenwald): Establishes statewide standards for the use of heaters and tents by restaurants during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, A-5135 (Greenwald/Karabinchak), has yet to be considered.

A-5136 (Greenwald/Johnson): Concerns restaurant safety during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3365 (Gopal), has yet to be considered.

A-5137 (Greenwald/Vainieri Huttle/Johnson): Requires the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to waive the fees for an alcoholic beverage COVID-19 expansion permit.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3317 (Cruz-Perez), has yet to be considered.

A-5139 (Greenwald/Johnson): Concerns restaurant tents during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3337 (Cruz-Perez), has yet to be considered.

AJR-199/AJR-174 (Greenwald/Johnson/Moen): Establishes the "Commission to Review Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses."

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on January 13 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, SJR-104 (Cruz-Perez), has yet to be considered.
      • To read the CCSNJ position on the above bill package sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald, click here.

S-3093/A-4910 (Gopal/Sweeney/Burzichelli/Johnson/Danielsen): Establishes a county-based mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during pandemic.

      • This bill passed the Senate on January 28 and was posted by the full Assembly on March 1, however the bill was held and continues to await consideration by the full Assembly.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

SR-101/AR-170 (Pou/Gopal/Moen/Vaineri Huttle): Urges New Jersey residents to patronize small businesses to support them through COVID-19 pandemic.

      • This bill was passed by both houses and filed with the New Jersey Secretary of State.

S-3305/A-5389 (Smith/Oroho/Chaparro/Danielsen/Dancer): Allows tax credits for nonresidential building improvement expenses to reduce spread of COVID-19.

      • This bill passed the Senate unanimously on January 28 and was favorably released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on March 8. It currently awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-4958 (Tully): Provides temporary exemption under the sales and use tax for winterizing certain small business operations.

      • This bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate.

SJR-82/AJR-166 (Gopal/Bucco/Vaineri Huttle/Dunn): Designates March 9 of each year "COVID-19 Heroes Day" in New Jersey.

      • This bill passed both houses on March 1 and was signed by Governor Murphy on March 9.
      • To read the law, click here.

S-2919 (Madden): Establishes the "Remote Work Study Commission."

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Labor Committee on February 11 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. The Assembly counterpart, A-4421 (Moen), has yet to be considered.

A-4297 (Houghtaling/Downey/Space): Permits conducting bingos and raffles remotely; permits online sale of tickets for all bingos and raffles.

      • This bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-2631 (Gopal), passed the full Senate on August 27.

S-3336 (Cruz-Perez): Establishes small hospitality business winter preparation purchase or reimbursement program in New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA); appropriates $50 million to the NJEDA from federal funds.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-3403 (Gopal): Directs the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to request annual funding for food banks or organizations operating them and requires distribution of grants based upon the percentage of food insecure households served.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-844/S-2533 (Pou/Greenstein): Revises financial reporting requirements for charitable organizations; excludes non-monetary in-kind donations from gross revenue for the purpose of reporting requirements.

      • The bill was favorably released from the Senate Commerce Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Assembly counterpart, A-4635 (Zwicker), has yet to be considered.

The CCSNJ was proud to support a package of bills that appropriate federal funds to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which would provide support to small and micro businesses, restaurants, childcare centers, arts and culture organizations, and food bank organizations. The bills passed both Houses on March 25 and await action from Governor Murphy.

The bill package includes the following bills:

S-3519/A-5446 (Greenstein/Lagana/Zwicker/Downey): Appropriates $15 million in federal funds to NJEDA to support businesses and nonprofits in need.

S-3520/A-5445 (Ruiz/Lagana/Swain/Mosquera/Taliaferro): Appropriates $10 million in federal funds to NJEDA to support child care centers in need.

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S-3521/A-5447 (Lagana/Addiego/Gopal/Carter/Houghling/McKinight): Appropriates $15 million in federal funds to NJEDA to support arts and culture organizations in need.

S-3523/A-5443 (Addiego/Lagana/Johnson/Frieman): Appropriates $25 million in federal funds to NJEDA to support microbusinesses in need.

S-3524/A-5444 (Gopal/Lagana/Mazzeo/Tully): Appropriates $35 million in federal funds to NJEDA to support food and beverage establishments in need.

S-3527/A-5405 (Sweeney/Oroho/Coughlin/Speight):  Appropriates $10 million in federal funds to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to support food bank organizations.

To read the CCSNJ position on this bill package, click here.

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Non-COVID-19 Issues

Labor Mandates

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A-802 (Verelli): Requires certain retailers to train employees on gift card fraud.

      • This bill passed the full Assembly and awaits consideration by the Senate Commerce Committee. The Senate counterpart, S-1352 (Turner), has yet to be considered.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

S-1559 (Scutari): The “New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act" establishes a private cause of action for first-party claimants regarding certain unfair or unreasonable practices by their insurer.

      • This bill passed the full Senate on January 28 and awaits consideration by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. The Assembly counterpart, A-1659 (Quijano), has yet to be considered.

S-989/A-2487 (Weinberg/Greenstein/Quijano/Benson): The "Healthy Terminals Act" requires certain airport and train station workers to be paid certain wage rates and benefits.

      • This bill passed both Houses on March 25 and awaits action by Governor Murphy.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

A-1650 (Quijano): Limits certain provisions in and enforceability of restrictive covenants.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Labor Committee on February 24 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, S-899 (Cryan) has yet to be considered.

S-2039 (Gill/Greenstein/Pou): Prohibits gender-based price discrimination.

      • This bill passed the Senate on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Assembly. The Assembly version, A-5488 (Vaineri Huttle), has yet to be considered.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.
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Workforce Development Issues

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AR-199 (Vaineri-Huttle): Urges Congress to address inequities in the incorporation of part-time and online learning students in the formula calculation.

      • The bill was favorably released from the Assembly Higher Education Committee on January 13 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

A-4008 (Karabinchak/Murphy): Provides secondary classroom experience credit towards meeting the requirements of the classroom training portion of a registered apprenticeship.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3316 (Cruz-Perez), has yet to be considered.

A-4634 (Schaer/Johnson/McKnight): Allows for a corporation business tax credit for subcontracting work to New Jersey small businesses.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Meeting on March 8 and awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Senate counterpart, S-2982 (Addiego), has yet to be considered.

A-4918 (Greenwald/Johnson): Allows corporations to hold remote shareholder meetings.

      • The bill passed the full Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-3266 (Diegnan), has yet to be considered.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

A-5218 (Freiman/Armato/Tully): Allows restaurant owners to accelerate depreciation of certain expenditures under the corporation business and gross income taxes.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on March 8 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, S-3597 (Vitale), has yet to be considered.

A-1293 (Greenwald/Burzichelli/Mukherji): Establishes an advisory council for the brewery, cidery, meadery, and distillery industries in New Jersey and provides for funding through certain alcoholic beverage tax receipts.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on March 8 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

A-1610 (Lampitt): Eliminates the restriction on the sale of beer by limited brewery licensee for on-premises consumption only when in connection with tour; requires licensees to provide tours during certain business hours.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on March 8 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

A-5310 (Lopez): Removes the limit on the number of social affairs permits that can be issued for one premises under certain circumstances.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on March 8 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, S-3597 (Vitale), has yet to be considered.

S-3258 (Singleton/Pou): Establishes the “Water Apprenticeship, Training, and Resources Pilot Program” in the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Labor Committee on February 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate Budget Committee. The Assembly counterpart, A-5016 (Verrelli), passed the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources Committee and awaits a hearing by the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

A-195 (Carter/Karabinchak): Requires the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to conduct a study and issue a report on the impact of artificial intelligence on the growth of the state’s economy.

      • This bill unanimously passed the Assembly on March 1 and awaits consideration by the Senate Labor Committee.

A-5013 (Zwicker/Carter/Vainieri Huttle): Directs the New Jersey Secretary of State to develop a national marketing campaign promoting the state’s innovation economy.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on February 22 and awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Senate counterpart, S-2062 (Beach), has yet to be considered.

A-1534 (Spearman/Chiaravalloti/Quijano): The "New Jersey Works Act" that permits businesses to create pre-employment training programs in partnership with nonprofit organizations or educational institutions; provides tax credits to businesses that provide financial assistance to pre-employment training.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Labor Committee on February 24 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, S-1573 (Beach), has yet to be considered

S-1476 (Cruz-Perez/Beach): Creates the "Economic Gardening Program" in the New Jersey Department of State to provide customized services to certain businesses.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Economic Growth Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Assembly counterpart, A-996 (Downey), was favorably released from the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

S-898/A-1178 (Cryan/Pou/Zwicker/DePhillips): Permits corporations to use blockchain technology for certain recordkeeping requirements.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Commerce Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. The Assembly version passed the full Assembly unanimously on October 29.

S-2869 (Scutari): Establishes a wine consultant permit.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Commerce Committee on March 11 and awaits consideration by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Assembly version, A-4424 (Johnson), was reported favorably from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

A-4806/S-3188 (Dancer/Chiaravalloti/Pou/Singleton): Permits municipalities to authorize property tax reward programs; validates the actions of municipalities that have created them.

      • This bill passed both houses on March 25 and awaits action by Governor Murphy.
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Diversity Equity & Inclusion

The CCSNJ was proud to support a package of bills sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, in conjunction with the Camden Business Association, which would aid in the development and growth of minority and women owned businesses in New Jersey.

The CCSNJ was proud to support a package of bills sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, in conjunction with the Camden Business Association, which would aid in the development and growth of minority and women owned businesses in New Jersey. The bill package is below:

S-2770 (Singleton/Ruiz): Establishes the position of Minority Depository Institution Coordinator in the NJEDA.

      • The bill passed the full Senate on February 19 and awaits consideration by the Assembly. The Assembly counterpart, A-4516 (Reynolds-Jackson), has yet to be considered.

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

      • The bill passed the full Senate on February 19 and awaits consideration by the Assembly. The Assembly counterpart, A-5356 (Quijano), has yet to be considered.

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

      • This bill passed the full Senate on February 19 and awaits consideration by the Assembly. The Assembly counterpart, A-5243 (Sumter), passed the Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee on January 13.

S-2525/A-4274 (Rice/Singleton/Conaway/Sumter): Expands the powers and duties of the New Jersey Chief Diversity Officer to promote diversity in state government and public contracting.

      • This bill passed both Houses on March 25 and awaits action by Governor Murphy.
      • To read the CCSNJ letter urging Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to post these bills, click here.

A-1017 (Downey/Houghtaling/Murphy): Requires the New Jersey Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action to create the "Model Employer for People with Disabilities" program for state government.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Human Services Committee on March 17.

S-2056/A-1091 (Beach/Murphy/Vainieri Huttle/Wirths): Requires the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism to advertise and promote tours of breweries in the state.

      • The Assembly version of this bill passed the full Assembly unanimously on November 16. The Senate version was favorably released from the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee on March 22 and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

S-2854/A-1625 (Pou/Lampitt/Jasey/Carter): Directs the New Jersey Department of Education to develop an outreach program to encourage young women and minorities to pursue post-secondary degrees and careers in STEM.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Senate Education Committee on January 14 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. The Assembly version passed the full Assembly unanimously on August 27.
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Health

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SJR-28 (Weinberg): Designates June of each year as "Scleroderma Awareness Month.”

      • This bill passed the full Senate on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Assembly.
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Energy & Environmental Issues

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S-3091/A-4933 (Addiego/Bateman/Burzichelli/Benson/):  Requires developers to offer unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology as an option in new construction; establishes tax incentives, and state and local purchasing preferences for unit concrete products that utilize carbon footprint-reducing technology.

      • This bill passed the Senate on March 25 and it awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

A-4819/S-3033 (Lampitt/DeAngelo/Giblin/Sweeney/Singleton): Establishes “School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program” in the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

      • This bill passed the full Senate on February 19 and the Assembly Appropriations Committee on March 17. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.

S-1071 (Kean/Gopal): Increases the amount annually credited to Shore Protection Fund to $50 million.

      • This bill passed the full Senate on February 19 and the Assembly Appropriations Committee on March 17. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
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Transportation and Infrastructure

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A-5057/S-3190 (Danielsen/Speight/Smith/Bateman): Authorizes the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to finance aviation and marine infrastructure projects; makes various other changes to bank's enabling act.

      • This bill was passed by both houses on February 19 and awaits action by Governor Murphy.

A-3625 (Zwicker/Conaway): Imposes a moratorium on the collection of biometric identifiers by public entities and requires the Attorney General to recommend appropriate uses; restricts the private use of biometric information.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on January 25 and awaits consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

A-2427 (Benson/Pinkin): Creates the “Reliability, Preparedness, and Storm Response Act” which requires public utilities to file certain information concerning emergency preparedness with New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and increases certain penalties.

      • This bill was favorably released from the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee on February 24 and awaits consideration by the full Assembly. The Senate counterpart, S-634 (Greenstein), has yet to be considered.

A-2340/A-2489 (Moriarty/Quijano/Vainieri Huttle): Prohibits commercial mobile service providers from disclosing customer's geolocation data to third parties.

      • This bill passed the Assembly on March 25 and awaits consideration by the Senate. The Senate counterpart, S-1832 (Greenstein), has yet to be considered.
      • To read the CCSNJ position, click here.

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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