Measures Aim to Create New Jobs; Stimulate, Develop NJ Economy in Wake of Hurricane Sandy
(TRENTON) — Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) and Timothy J. Eustace, D.C. (D-Bergen), a small business owner, issued a multimedia package Tuesday on the budget panel’s positive consideration of a multi-bill job creation and economic development package first announced last week by Assembly Democratic leadership as the main priority for the chamber in December.
The committee’s efforts Tuesday built off the Assembly’s recent final approval of legislation (A-2162) recently 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.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the legislators discussing the approval of the package by the budget committee and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
Package highlights include:
- Revised legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) to create the Back to Work NJ job creation and economic growth initiative (A-3580). The governor 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 measure also is sponsored by Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden), Prieto, Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), Wayne P. DeAngelo (D-Mercer) and Paul D. Moriarty (D-Gloucester);
- 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 (A-3312). It’s sponsored by Assembly members John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), 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 (A-3582);
- Legislation sponsored by Singleton and Benson to provide tax credits for qualified investment in biotechnology businesses (A-2005);
- A bill to provide tax credits for investing in New Jersey’s emerging business technology sector (A-1084). It’s sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union), Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Nelson D. Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), DeAngelo and Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer); and
- A bill to encourage training in labor fields with workforce shortages (A-955). It’s sponsored by Oliver, Greenwald, Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer), Wagner and Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden).
A transcript of comments from the legislators is appended below:
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair:
“I believe that our number one focus has to be to put New Jerseyans back to work. You know, even before Superstorm Sandy hit our state, we were still struggling with high unemployment above the national average. And even though we’ve done a lot to try to put people back to work, the reality is, New Jerseyans are still suffering.
“So we need to keep the focus on economic development and creating jobs in our state. That’s what this package does.”
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chair:
“We have a collection of different bills. Some bills actually give incentives to companies to hire people that are unemployed.
“We have incentives for higher education to create curriculum for jobs that are coming in the near future here that are essential to the State of New Jersey.
“Also, for jobs that are in shortage that we would give credits to students to pay in their loans for going into those fields and committing to those fields.”
Assemblyman Timothy J. Eustace, D.C. (D-Bergen):
“As a small businessperson, this is a way to incentivize people to hire people that have been unemployed; to come up with new ideas; to get some sort of tax incentives to build the economy quickly.
“We still need jobs. The governor is not doing a good job of providing jobs. We’re trying to move forward with providing more jobs for the State of New Jersey and provide businesses with opportunity to grow those jobs.”
“The reality is that most of these bills should have been put in place and we would be in a better place than we are today. And furthermore, you know, over half of the bills in this package are new introduced ideas.
“So, again, we need to continue to work together on a bipartisan basis to come up with ideas that can help get New Jerseyans back to work.”