New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Senate Approves Sweeney/Kean Resolution Establishing Special Committee for Economic Growth

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The Senate today approved a Senate resolution sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean establishing the “Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies” to identify the best strategies, policies and practices to create jobs, attract investments and generate long-term economic opportunities throughout the state.

The Senate approved a Sweeney/Kean resolution establishing the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies to identify the best strategies, policies and practices to create jobs, attract investments and generate long-term economic opportunities throughout the state.  (Pixabay)

The Senate Resolution, SR-139, creates a bipartisan, seven-member committee to evaluate the state’s economic development programs to ensure their continued effectiveness. The Senate President will appoint the committee members from the Senate, comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans.

“With a highly educated workforce and favorable location, there is no reason that New Jersey should struggle with economic development,” said Senator Kean. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many headlines of employers large and small leaving the Garden State for other places. It’s clear that we need to understand what the problems are if we are to offer effective and long-term fixes.”

“New Jersey’s economic vitality depends on economic development programs that incentivize qualified businesses to invest in the state’s communities through job creation and capital investment,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We need to maximize the effectiveness of the state’s economic growth programs with a true accounting of the existing policies and practices. If current or new economic development programs are not extended or authorized, business incentives offered by other states will place New Jersey at a strategic disadvantage.”

Two of the state’s most important economic development programs administered by the Economic Development Authority will begin to expire in June.

The committee’s work will include a review of the EDA and its tax incentive programs, getting a true accounting of the aspects of each program that were successful or unsuccessful and how these programs may be improved in the future, including recommendations for enforcement. The review will help assess the return on investments, including total capital investments by those participating in the programs.

Senator Sweeney and Senator Kean said the committee will gain input from state and regional leaders in the business community and from academic experts in the area of economic development and other qualified experts. The committee, which will have subpoena power, will hold hearings, take testimony, make use of all documentation, testimony, and other relevant information to assist with an analysis of the compliance with the program’s requirements by the recipients.

The panel will issue a report of its findings and recommend legislation addressing the state’s economic development policies.

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