NJBIA recently hosted a virtual Government Affairs Policy Committee meeting to discuss policy updates at both the state and federal level, with Congressman Tom Kean (NJ-7) speaking.
After thanking the association and NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz for their support throughout his time in the New Jersey Legislature, Kean stated he intends to use his time in Congress to focus on issues surrounding energy independence and manufacturing, as well as job creation and workforce retention in New Jersey.
Among Kean’s stated priorities was a focus on making sure that the domestic and state manufacturing sectors are not only strong but growing. One solution, he said, is the need for an increase in PELL Grant funding and NIH funding for universities to better educate New Jersey’s workforce.
Additionally, Kean noted that he has joined the SALT (state and local tax) caucus to help stimulate a bipartisan approach to ending the SALT deduction cap. In terms of deficit reduction, he stated that there needs to be a serious discussion about spending, budgets, and the simultaneous protection of programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
Kean also weighed in on the issue of New York’s taxation of workers operating remotely from New Jersey, stating he believed people should be taxed based on where they earn income such as by New Jersey for employees working from home in New Jersey. He also stated that he would do everything he can to lead the fight against the New York congestion pricing issue.
After Congressman Kean answered questions, NJBIA’s Government Affairs team gave updates in their respective areas of focus. NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey led with key updates on the Temporary Worker Bill (P.L.2023, c.10.).
Bailey explained while the bill had passed in the Legislature and been signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, NJBIA would be continuing to pursue additional legislation which would address existing concerns surrounding provisions within the legislation. According to Bailey, two bills have been proposed to address concerns, but neither proposal fully addresses the main concerns NJBIA has with the Temp Worker Bill.
Althea D. Ford, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affaris updated the committee on two education bills in the Assembly. Ford reported that NJBIA testified in support of bill A-4496, the Schools Development Authority bill that will set us up to build new schools and create jobs. According to Ford, NJBIA is opposing bill A-4639 as it would weaken accountability and lower standards in New Jersey’s education system through the elimination of high school graduation proficiency tests.
NJBIA Director of Economic Policy Research Kyle Sullender reported that NJBIA is preparing its Regional Business Climate analysis. Unfortunately, Sullender also noted that New Jersey tends to fall at the bottom of this report and does not anticipate an improvement in this year’s comparison.
Finally, Emigholz was happy to update the committee on the passage of bill A-4929, as it would provide flexibility for tax credit awardees that needed more flexibility around remote work, and the continued work on the Corporate Tax Compromise Bill. Emigholz also reported that with the Corporate Business Tax rate set to go back down to 9% at the end of 2023, New Jersey will no longer have the highest CBT rate in the nation.
Ending on a positive note, Emigholz concluded the meeting by informing members that state revenues remain strong despite not growing as much as they had in the past.