Date: June 22, 2017

TRENTON (June 22, 2017): As the fate of this year’s legislative session hangs in the balance, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is voicing its concern that lawmakers are going out of their way to double down on New Jersey’s hostile business environment. The future of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shields reserve funds remains uncertain as paid leave expansion takes another step towards becoming law.

“The State House seems to be overrun with policymakers intent on destroying what’s left of our business community in New Jersey even more so than usual. Everywhere you turn you run into another bad idea that will either stifle job creation, deter economic growth or worse yet, drive employers out of our state,” according to Laurie Ehlbeck, NFIB New Jersey State Director.  “Whether it be decimating small businesses by expanding paid leave or making a grab for a corporation’s reserve funds apparently no one is safe anymore.”

Governor Christie unveiled a plan to take control of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shields reserve funds to plug a budget hole during this year’s budget address.  Government interference in the consumer market is something that NFIB has consistently opposed. The cost impact that such an action would have on HBCBS customers would not go unnoticed. Additionally, the action would do nothing to solve the long-term fiscal issues that have plagued New Jersey for decades.

“This year we had the distinct “honor” of being ranked by the Tax Foundation as having the worst business tax climate in the country. It’s unfortunate that legislative leadership did not use the findings of the Tax Foundation, or any of the other studies that outlined our economic hurdles as evidence that it was time to tackle the pervasive tax and regulatory issues that overwhelm our job creators,” continued Ehlbeck. “Instead, we have heard proposals that would decimate what’s left of the small business sector. Today’s paid leave debate in the Assembly is just another example demonstrating that we have a long way to go to turn our economy around.”

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