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Calling it a “pro-taxpayer bill,” NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz testified on Monday in support of legislation that would require stress testing on the state’s ability to maintain services in various economic conditions.  

The bill, S-1411, sponsored by Sen. Troy Singleton (D-7) and Sen. Shirley Turner (D-15), was unanimously released by the Senate Economic Growth Committee. 

Under the bill, the Department of the Treasury would be required, once every three years, to conduct a stress test analysis of the state’s ability to maintain services and provide necessary assistance to residents in various economic conditions. 

 Emigholz testified that the bill would provide greater budget transparency and give legislators better information as they make decisions during the state budget process. 

“Anything we do to shed more light on our budget process, more light on our spending and revenue situations, is good for all taxpayers,” Emigholz told the committee.  

The legislation would require the stress test analyses to include: 

  • Long- and short-term projections of major funding sources, including revenues from major taxes and funding from the federal government 
  • A comparison between projections of major funding sources and historical trends for each of those funding sources 
  • An analysis of expenditures that are likely to increase or decrease in various economic conditions 
  • An accounting of the state’s reserves, including amounts deposited into the “Surplus Revenue Fund” 
  •  The state’s options to avoid or lessen the impact of economic recessions. 

The Treasury Department would be required to make the stress test analyses publicly accessible on its website. The Governor would also be required to include the findings in his annual budget message.