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Sweeney Appoints Membership of Special Committee for Economic Growth

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney appointed the members of the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies today. The committee was established last week by Senate Resolution, SR-139.

“New Jersey has been able to attract and retain major corporations in spite of its reputation of being a high cost state for business. While the labor talent continues to be our most attractive quality, sometimes it takes more ‘incentive’ to attract and retain business. Over the last several decades, the state has attracted major sports team training facilities, including the New York Jets and the Philadelphia 76ers; we have attracted major pharmaceutical companies, such as Bayer; and grown food companies, like Unilever and Pinnacle,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Over the years, the NJEDA has had tremendous leadership from the likes of Tony Coscia, Al Koeppe, Carl Van Horn, Larry Downes and, of course, Caren Franzini. However, as of late, the mission of the NJEDA as well as its integrity has come under enormous scrutiny without any specific company or award having been cited. This special committee will evaluate the quality and integrity of existing programs and make recommendations to improve the state’s competitiveness and the oversight of the entire incentive process.”

The committee members are as follows:

Chair: Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset)

Vice-Chair: Senator Robert W. Singer (R-Monmouth/Ocean)

Committee Member: Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester)

Committee Member: Senator Dawn Addiego (D-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden)

Committee Member: Senator Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic)

Committee Member: Senator Anthony R. Bucco (R-Morris/Somerset)

Committee Member: Senator Declan J. O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth)

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.

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