Economic Stimulus and Jobs Creation
Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit: In order to make the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit more effective, this bill expanded its parameters to include mixed-use developments. Since this bill was made into law, the Haddon Avenue Transit Village - a development that will bring jobs, services and a supermarket to the Ferry Avenue neighborhood – has received a crucial $50 million tax credit to advance.
Expansion of RICE List: Signed into law December 2010, this bill allows for the hiring of certain laid-off public safety officials without using Civil Service lists if that employee was in good standing as an employee at the time of the lay-off. This allows unemployed police officers and other public safety officials get back to work sooner, and also saves hiring-agencies training-related costs.
Neighborhood Scholar Revitalization Pilot Program: Taking cues from cities and states across the nation, this program will offer student-loan reimbursement to recent college graduates who commit to living in certain neighborhoods for two years. This is part of a multi-pronged approach to helping bolster the economies of our depressed cities.
Social Impact Bond: In an effort to explore alternative revenue sources for programs designed to improve social outcomes, Social Impact Bonds seek private funding for public social initiatives. The success of these initiatives will determine what - if any – return investors will realize on their investment. This is a dynamic new revenue source being tested throughout the world.
Craft Brew: New Jersey’s Craft Brew Industry has been a growing enterprise that was in danger of becoming stagnant under arcane brewing laws. This legislation, which was signed into law in August 2012, enables the industry to continue its double-digit growth, and encourages breweries to spend their investment dollars in-state.
Micro-Distilleries: Following the widespread success of the craft brew legislation, this bill will encourage the development of a craft distillery industry in New Jersey. Craft distilling is quickly becoming a popular industry in the states that foster its growth.
Urban Hope Act: In an effort to improve outcomes for underperforming school districts, the Urban Hope Act provides for the construction of up to four new public schools in Camden, Newark and Trenton. This bill was signed into law January 12, 2012, and Camden has moved forward with seeking requests for proposals. These schools have the potential to bring new methods of education to our students as early as 2014.
New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Restructuring Act: Signed into law in August 2012 and recently approved by the Rutgers Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, the Restructuring Act will take effect June 2013. Rutgers University will absorb most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey and Rowan University will be designated a research institution. At the same time, Rutgers-Camden will have more financial autonomy, and the opportunity to build shared life sciences curriculum with Rowan. This historic move has positioned our institutions to become world-class centers of learning and research.
Opportunity Scholarship Act: Aimed at helping children in failing school districts gain access to the same world-class education offered throughout our state, the OSA provides tax credits to businesses for funding scholarships that would allow those students to attend school at out-of-district public or private schools.
Veteran Set-Aside Bill: This initiative allows local governments to create set-aside programs for veterans. Municipalities and counties will be able to designate up to 3% of local contracts to small businesses that are owned by or that employ veterans. With a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country, our servicemen and women deserve every opportunity we can provide them.
Veterans Civil Service: New Jersey National Guard and Army Reserve Members whose position on government employment lists expired while they were serving abroad will be allowed to return to their position on these lists when they return. Those individuals who put their lives on hold to defend our nation should not miss out on employment opportunities when they return.
Purple Heart Memorial Highway: Signed into law in 2012, this bill designates portions of Route 42 as “Purple Heart Memorial Highway.” This bill is a tribute to those men and women who have received this prestigious honor for unusual acts of valor during times of war.
Government Accountability and Reining in Spending
New Jersey First Act: This bill requires most new public employees to reside in New Jersey – making them accountable to the same rules that they enforce, pay the taxes that pay their wages, and spend their earnings boosting New Jersey’s businesses. This was signed into law in 2011.
Common Sense Shared Services Act: In order to help reduce government costs, this legislation revises current law to provide that a municipal clerk, chief financial officer, assessor, tax collector, public works manager or municipal treasurer that has tenure may be removed from office in order to effectuate a shared services agreement.
School Board Elections: Signed into law in January 2012, this bill allows school districts, municipal government or voters to move school board elections to November, removing the cost of holding a separate election in April. Nearly 90% of school districts opted for this cost-saving move this year, and voter turnout for this election quadrupled in most races. The bill is part of a package of bills which includes returning the Presidential Primary back with the regular primaries, and an effort to streamline fire district elections.
Strengthening and Protecting Our Communities
Jersey Fresh Mobiles Pilot Program: This program – which was created in January 2012 – brings Jersey Fresh produce to New Jersey’s urban deserts. An urban desert is a community in which access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. This program brings New Jersey’s farms directly to these areas via a mobile unit administered by a non-profit. Camden City has been designated to spearhead the pilot, and the Camden Children’s Garden will administer the mobile unit.
Weapons-Free Zones: This bill will allow municipalities to establish weapons-free zones around schools and public facilities. This strict restriction on weapons is an important step in confronting the problems of crime and violence in our communities.
Drug Offender Restraining Order: This law allows public safety officials to apply for restraining orders against certain criminals to keep them from returning to the scene of their crime and reoffending or harassing the neighborhood. The bill was signed into law in April 2011.
Bookmark/Search this post with: