Effort Aims to Create New Jobs, More Robust Economy as Part of Sandy Recovery
(TRENTON) – Assembly Democratic leadership on Tuesday announced the Assembly will focus much of its December activity to an extensive job creation and economic development initiative.
The Assembly’s Dec. 17 voting session, they said, is expected to include more than 20 bills focusing on job creation and economic development initiatives.
“New Jersey faces great challenges in the months – even years – ahead when it comes to rebuilding after Sandy, but we cannot forget that New Jersey’s unemployment rate was hovering near 10 percent even before the storm hit,” said Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “We already faced a need to focus on job creation and economic growth, and that need is now exacerbated. What we need is this multi-pronged approach to reinvigorate our economy.”
“Rebuilding after Sandy will be a major undertaking, but it must be a multi-faceted approach that should include a focus on job creation and economic development that will position New Jersey for success,” said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “We need to not only create jobs to get New Jersey’s economy going in the right direction, but we need to create jobs that are better than the ones we’ve been adding. We need to rebuild our middle-class and our state together.”
“It’s unacceptable to have an unemployment rate nearly 2 points higher than the national average,” said Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “We need once and for all a concerted effort by everyone to create jobs and economic activity while we also focus on rebuilding after Sandy. The Assembly is ready to take action, and we’re hopeful others will be more willing this time to join us for the benefit of all New Jersey residents and businesses.”
“Recovering from Sandy must include a vigorous job creation and economic development initiative,” said Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “The two must go together. Our lagging economy and high unemployment was a concern before the storm, and it remains so now, so let’s get this done for the good of everyone in New Jersey.”
The effort will build off the final legislative approval (A-2162) recently given by the Assembly to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour and adjust it annually in order to create a more livable wage for working class residents and in turn boost economic activity.
A detailed agenda will be announced soon, but highlights will include:
- Revised legislation sponsored by Oliver to create the Back to Work NJ job creation and economic growth initiative. The governor has vetoed previous versions of the job training bill modeled after a successful Georgia program, but the Speaker remains committed to fighting for its passage.
- The New Jobs for New Jersey tax credit program to provide incentives to small private sector employers who increase their workforce by hiring unemployed workers. It’s sponsored by John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson (both D-Mercer/Middlesex).
- Legislation sponsored by Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden) to authorize creation of a new corporate structure designed to create high-paying manufacturing jobs.
- Legislation sponsored by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) to help more small-, women- and minority-owned businesses qualify for economic development assistance.
- Various bills to support veteran-owned businesses and businesses that employ veterans and to help veterans find work.
- Legislation sponsored by Singleton and Benson to provide tax credits for qualified investment in biotechnology businesses.
- A bill to provide tax credits for investing in New Jersey’s emerging business technology sector. It’s sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union), Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen), Nelson Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), DeAngelo and Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon).
- A bill to encourage training in labor fields with workforce shortages. It’s sponsored by Oliver, Greenwald, Mila Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), Watson Coleman, Connie Wagner (D-Bergen/Passaic) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington).