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Legislative Update From the NJ State Chamber of Commerce

November 25, 2009 - Tracking Legislation and Other Items Important to the NJ Business Community


Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee

Low Interest Loans for Green Buildings - A-2065 (McKeon/D-27; Lampitt/D-6; Chiappone/D-31; Ramos/D-33): Committee passed with amendments, referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee. Requires the executive director of the NJ Economic Development Authority to establish and administer a program that makes low-interest loans available to developers or redevelopers that construct new buildings or renovates existing buildings that, when completed, qualifies as high performance green buildings. The amendments change the definition of "high performance green building" to include commercial, industrial or mixed use buildings that are at least 15,000-square-feet. Additionally, the amendments expand the criteria for eligibility by adding the second, third and fourth ratings to the LEED silver ratings as alternative standards of environmental sustainability. Assembly Commerce and Economic

Development Committee Vote: Gusciora, Reed (Chair) - Yes Coutinho, Albert (Vice Chair) - Not Voting Angelini, Mary Pat - Yes Chivukula, Upendra J. - Yes Lampitt, Pamela R. - Yes Love, Sandra - Yes McHose, Alison Littell - Yes


Qualified Purchasing Agents - A-1645 (McKeon/D-27; Scalera/D-36; Prieto/D-32): Passed the Assembly on May 21. The Governor conditionally vetoed the bill on Nov. 23. He supports the concept of the legislation which requires municipalities to have qualified purchasing agents. The Governor conditionally vetoed the bill because it "does not adequately address the substantive issues raised throughout the legislative process by the Division of Local Government Services." The Chamber believes that in the complex world of local public contracts and municipal finances, requiring government entities to have qualified purchasing agents is prudent. This provides added protection to the taxpayers of municipalities, which includes employers and residents.


Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Labor Committee

Mandating Prevailing Wage For Food Service Contracts - A-4151 (Watson Coleman/D-15; Pou/D-35) and S-2850 (Madden/D-4; Sweeney/D-3): Assembly Appropriations Committee passed A-4151 and the Senate Labor Committee held S-2850. Extends prevailing wage requirements to food service contracts and to local units and state authorities. The State Chamber opposes mandates that expand prevailing wage requirements because of the increased financial burden such mandates have on the employer community. These artificially-inflated wages increase labor costs without a corresponding increase in productivity.

Assembly Appropriations Committee Vote: Pou, Nellie (Chair) - Yes Vainieri Huttle, Valerie (Vice Chair) - Yes Barnes, Peter J., III - Yes Conaway, Herb, Jr. - Yes Greenwald, Louis D. - Yes Ramos, Ruben J., Jr. - Yes Stender, Linda - Yes Wisniewski, John S. - Yes Addiego, Dawn Marie - No Merkt, Richard A. - No Thompson, Samuel D. - Abstain

Upcoming Legislative Schedule The General Assembly has scheduled 10 a.m. Group C Committee hearings and 2 p.m. Group D Committee hearings for Monday, Nov. 30.