TRENTON – Legislation to require the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to publish information related to financial assistance offered in response to a public emergency passed the Senate. The bill is sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez.
“A transparent government earns the public’s trust. This is especially important during times of crisis,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Currently, the EDA is not required to inform the public of who receives financial assistance, or how much they receive. This bill would allow the public to have a clear picture of how the EDA distributes funding during emergencies and economic disruption.”
“The coronavirus has sent our state into a steep economic downtown and we have to do all we can to help small businesses survive this recession,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “The EDA is in a great position to ensure their survival, especially when distributing funds from the CARES Act. It’s important however, that we are broadly transparent with who is assisted so the government and the business community can maintain accountability.”
The bill would require the EDA to publish, on its website, a list of all applicants seeking EDA assistance during declared periods of emergency and for the duration of economic downturns due to the emergency. The EDA would also have to list whether the applicant was approved for or denied assistance, as well as the amount of assistance that was given.
The bill, S-2521, was released from the Senate by a vote of 40-0.