SWEENEY & OLIVER ON THURSDAY PASSAGE OF ‘BACK TO WORK NJ’ BILLS TO CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT N.J.

Measures Promote Job Creation & Retention, Improved Business Climate

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver on Thursday hailed the passage of about 20 bills designed to create jobs and economic development throughout New Jersey.

The legislative leaders initially announced the “Back to Work NJ” initiative in November as New Jersey’s unemployment rate continued to hover above 9 percent throughout 2010. More bills to create jobs and boost the economy will be considered on Monday.

“Today we sent a strong message to residents and the business community that 2011 will not be another lost year for New Jersey’s economy,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/ Salem). “This is the bold, aggressive effort we need to start the year right and to attract businesses and create good jobs.”

“This is great momentum for the new year and I’m very pleased with today’s progress, but it was just a start toward rebuilding our economy,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “We sent a strong message to residents and businesses that we are here to help lift our economy and spark job creation and economic development, but we have much more to do. Ensuring strong and sustainable jobs for our residents and a vibrant business environment for our state will be a continued focus.”

The Assembly and Senate on Thursday approved bills that would, among other things:
·Reform corporate businesses taxes to help New Jersey businesses stay competitive with those in other states.
·Expand tax credits to promote economic development around mass transit systems.
·Establish a new program to stimulate economic activity by encouraging businesses to stay, expand and move to New Jersey.
·Create a new program to entice students to enter fields that have labor shortages.
·Implement a program that allows the unemployed to receive on-the-job training to help learn new skills and find work.
·Promote investment in emerging technology companies in New Jersey.
·Revise and broaden the way financial assistance is handled under a business retention and relocation assistance program.

“These initiatives are a great step toward retooling New Jersey as an economic force primed to lead the pack in the economic recovery,” Oliver said. “We’re creating jobs for residents, easing outdated burdens on businesses and sparking economic growth throughout the state by encouraging investment. It’s a plan that benefits everyone.”

“In one day, we’ve been able to do more to put New Jersey back to work than any Governor or Legislature has done in a long, long time,” said Sweeney. “But we’re not done yet. Today is only a long-overdue first step to rebuilding and refocusing our state’s economy for a new era of growth.”