The Assembly today passed a package of bills to address the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, and the full Assembly is expected to pass the measures later today. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, meanwhile, outlined an economic relief plan over the weekend including a sales tax and payroll tax holiday.
Both houses’ plans include initiatives to help small businesses weather the economic impact of the virus. NJBIA proposed amendments to a couple of the bills in the Assembly, but has largely supported the legislative response to date.
“In no uncertain terms, many of our members are telling us both directly and through our polling that they have serious concerns about the stability and solvency of their operations, both in the short-term and the long-term, due to the overall response of the coronavirus,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said in a written statement referring to the Senate plan.
“We believe the protections and extensions proposed today are a start toward helping to mitigate some of the negative economic impacts being experienced, or soon to be experienced by our job creators, workers and their families as we go through this together,” Siekerka said.
The Senate is currently scheduled to meet March 23 to consider its response.
Today, the Assembly approved:
- A-3841 (Pintor Marin / Bramnick), which extends time to file gross income tax or corporation business tax return by one month;
- A-3842 (Greenwald / Taliaferro), which establishes Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program in DOE to provide and expand access to technology and equipment for students in certain school districts;
- A-3843 (McKeon / Bramnick), which requires health insurance and Medicaid coverage for testing and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019.
- A-3845 (Freiman / Greenwald / Dancer), which expands EDA small business loan program to include small businesses negatively affected by certain epidemics.
- A-3846 (Sumter), which creates the “Epidemic and Emergency Relief Employment Fund”; provides for lost income of workers affected by epidemics;
- A-3848 (Lopez / Munoz / Downey), which addresses time off from work in connection with infectious disease;
- A-3860 (Pinkin / DeCroce), which facilitates use of telemedicine and telehealth to respond to health emergencies;
- A-3861(Karabinchak / Johnson / Greenwald), which permits corporations to hold shareholders’ meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication during state of emergency; and
- A-3862 (Giblin / Armato / Houghtaling), which permits professional and occupational licensing boards to expedite licensure of certain individuals during state of emergency or public health emergency.