(TRENTON) – Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex/Union) will be honored with a Legislator of the Year Award in September by the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce for his work to ensure New Jersey is business friendly, economically successful and a great place to live and work.
“I am honored by the recognition that the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce has chosen to bestow on me,” said Coutinho. “As chair of the commerce and economic development committee, I have made every effort through legislation to create the sort of business friendly environment in New Jersey that will support existing businesses, attract new ones and create economic development opportunities that will strengthen our financial standing. I’m proud of the accomplishments we have made towards this end. This award is the icing on the cake.”
Coutinho will receive the award along with three other legislators at The State Chamber Business and Legislative Awards Reception at Bally’s in Atlantic City on September 27, 2011.
The reception will be followed by a moderated discussion with the legislators the following day.
As chair of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Coutinho consistently sponsors and supports pro-business initiatives, including tax reform and economic development legislation. He recently sponsored legislation which extends the moratorium on the 2.5 percent fee on non-residential construction projects for two years. He also sponsored legislation to provide for a single sales factor allocation formula, a key tax reform that the State Chamber has been advocating for years.
Economic development initiatives sponsored by Coutinho include legislation that will allow Urban Enterprise Zone certified businesses to receive sales tax exemptions on business purchases at the point of sale, and legislation that broadens the availability of the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG) Program.
Coutinho has been an advocate in emphasizing the need to address the Bayonne Bridge’s low clearance and keeping New Jersey’s port economy vibrant.
Coutinho was the prime sponsor of the economic stimulus act of 2009 widely considered to be the most aggressive investment incentive program in the country.