***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** COUTINHO: CHRISTIE PLAN TO DISMANTLE UEZ PROGRAM WILL IRREVOCABLY HARM NJ’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Proposal Further Proof that Christie Administration Not Concerned about Job Creation, Economic Stimulus

(TRENTON) — Assembly Commerce and Economic Committee Chairman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) issued a multimedia package Thursday in which he criticizes a proposal by the Christie administration to dismantle New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program.

Coutinho’s panel convened a hearing to gauge the impact of the proposal on municipalities that currently participate in the UEZ program; many municipal officials and urban small business owners who testified said that dismantling the program without a suitable replacement would cause serious harm to the continued economic well being of New Jersey’s urban communities.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Coutinho discussing the implications of ending the UEZ program and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — www.assemblydems.com — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Coutinho follows:

Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman:
“The Urban Enterprise Zone has been one of the major job creation and business development programs in the State of New Jersey, especially to help our inner city communities. It is been credited with having created upwards of 100,000 jobs and it gives businesses incentives to locate in our urban areas.

“I could not be more against what the administration is proposing — to shutter this program.

“Our message has been clear: we need to get New Jerseyans back to work; we need to invest in programs that work. The UEZ program has a history of creating jobs; has a history of stimulating investment in our cities. These are the sorts of initiatives that we have supported and we’ve championed and we need to continue to do so.

“The governor’s proposal to cancel this program is going to cost jobs; it’s going to hurt small businesses; and it will further damage our inner cities, which are in such desperate need of support.

“And instead of us doing more to help, this governor is trying to do less, for our inner cities and for small businesses.”