Arthur T. Young Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award Recognized Leadership in Solving NJ’s UI Fund Crisis
TRENTON – Senator Fred H. Madden was honored today as ‘Outstanding Legislator of the Year’ by the New Jersey Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJSEED) for his work to keep New Jersey competitive, and specifically for his leadership in solving the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund crisis. Senator Madden, who serves as chair of the Senate Labor Committee, was awarded the Arthur T. Young Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award today at the organization’s 2014 Economic Summit.
“The success of our state’s economy is dependent upon working together to promote sound and balanced policies that will ensure that businesses thrive and that workers are protected,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “I am honored to receive this award and to be recognized by business and labor for the work we have done to improve New Jersey’s economic position. I look forward to continuing to work on our shared goals of creating a business-friendly climate that produces good-paying jobs for our residents while protecting our environment.”
NJSEED recognized Madden for his work in bringing New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to solvency through numerous bills he sponsored. His efforts prevented businesses from tax hikes that were set to take effect as a result of the low level of the fund. The UI trust fund became insolvent in 2009 due to a rise in unemployment claims and past diversions of $4.7 billion in UI tax revenue in the 1990s and early 2000s. New Jersey began borrowing from the federal government to continue paying UI benefits in March 2009, with the debt reaching a peak of $1.99 billion in March 2011. The debt was entirely paid off in April of this year, and the balance of the UI Trust fund was $509.5 million as of September.
NJSEED is a coalition of labor and business leaders with a belief that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. For more than thirty years, NJSEED has supported balanced public policies that create private sector jobs, bolster the economy and enhance the environment. NJSEED is a leading voice for environmental balance and economic growth.
The awards presentation was held today at Caesars Hotel in Atlantic City.