New Jersey lawmakers will soon focus their attention on legislation aimed at creating jobs and keeping businesses from leaving the state.
Budget committees in both the Senate and the Assembly will meet five times this month to discuss various measures. The first sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, followed by sessions Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 22.
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver announced their “Back to Work NJ” legislation package last month, after Gov. Chris Christie again lambasted the Legislature for failing to approve key property tax stabilization measures that he proposed.
The package of roughly 30 bills includes measures to revise business tax codes, expand a business retention grant program and allow unemployed people to train with a potential new employer without jeopardizing their benefits. Another bill would create a loan forgiveness program for students who pursue jobs in fields with marked labor shortage.
The measures will likely be debated and voted on through January.
From New Jersey Newsroom:
New Jersey’s business climate is horrible, thanks to onerous regulations. But it’s getting ever-so-slightly better. In one recent poll indicating how business-friendly the various states are, New Jersey climbed from 50th to 48th
That was the message of several panelists at the 2011 Business and Financial Roundtable on Nov. 30 at Ramapo College.
Panelist John Galandak (pictured), president of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, said that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the economy, even though widespread uncertainty has kept employers from hiring.
“New Jersey has a history of being business-unfriendly,” he went on. “It’s a high-cost state.”
Still, Galandak said, the new administration in Trenton seems to be trying to “undo the costly regulations.”
Deborah Howlett, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective and former director of communications for Gov. Jon S. Corzine, said that the economy’s recovery will probably be gradual: “Everyone’s looking for a sign” of recovery before committing.
As for or the disappearance of manufacturing jobs here, she said it meant that the state was shifting to more white-collar jobs.
She expressed skepticism toward business subsidies, arguing that “There are more efficient ways to create jobs.”