Senate President Steve Sweeney announced the appointment of seven senators to the Special Committee for Economic Growth that will review tax incentives offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Commission.
Sweeney had previously announced State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway) would chair the panel.
The Senate President named State Sen. Bob Singer (R-Lakewood) to serve as vice chair, along with Democrats Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Barrington), Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) and Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus). The other Republicans on the committee are Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver).
“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,” said Sweeney. “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 Sweeney.
Sweeney said that the EDA has benefited from “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,” said Sweeney. “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.”