Dear New Jersey NFIB Members,
This week the Democratic Legislature approved Governor Murphy’s plan to borrow $10 billion to fill shortfalls in the State budget. Over the objections of all the Republican members of the Senate and Assembly, and a legal opinion stating NJ cannot borrow without voter approval, the scheme still passed. The money is being used to make pension plan payments and balance the budget. Next, the Governor will present his 9-month state Fiscal Year Budget 2021 on August 25 and is already calling for tax increases.
The uncertainty facing businesses remains high as NJ will be stuck in phase II COVID re-opening for the duration of the summer. The Governor is refusing to open gyms and allow for in-door dining. The painful irony is that this week NJ Transit, including trains, Access Link, and bus service reopened to 100% capacity. It is okay to pack a train with commuter’s, but it is irresponsible to open a restaurant with social distancing and limited capacity. Where is the logic?
The Legislature continues to meet and has been holding virtual committee hearings daily. A new bill, S-2628/A-4377 was just introduced. It establishes general immunity for all businesses against lawsuits brought by anyone alleging exposure to COVID and is an NFIB priority.
A-4389/S-2676 was also just introduced. The bills require health insurance plans to pay an annual assessment to the Department of Banking and Insurance based on net written premiums. This is another tax disguised as an assessment that will be paid for by every health insurance policy holder–our small business members! NFIB has already joined a coalition opposing this new tax proposal.
I hope the great summer weather of July allows for improved business profits as we work to improve the situation during this economic downturn.
NFIB State Director in New Jersey