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NJ Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken.

Opportunity NJ releases fiscal plan

Proposals include measures sought by Murphy, Sweeney

By Nikita Biryukov, July 18 2019 12:25 pm

Opportunity New Jersey on Thursday released a plan to reduce cost of living in the state that incorporated policies sought by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Gov. Phil Murphy.

“New Jersey’s location between significant metropolitan areas, its advanced infrastructure, and its highly skilled workforce make the state an ideal center for business and commerce,” said Tom Bracken, President and CEO N.J. Chamber of Commerce, and co-chair of ONJ. “But we must work together to restore New Jersey’s stability and affordability for residents and businesses. A New Jersey Economic Development and Advisory Council that engages directly with those responsible for creating related public policy is how we can achieve that goal.”

The plan includes parts of Sweeney’s path to progress, including pension reforms and school district consolidation.

The group also wants to public-private partnerships Murphy has regularly hailed since entering office last year.

But, some things in the group’s plan, like a freeze on new government spending and opposition to caps on the state’s tax incentives, which Sweeney opposes and Murphy has sought, might be hard to swallow for Democratic lawmakers.

“New Jersey is at a critical stage on the path to securing its economic future, and remaining an attractive state for businesses,” said Michele Siekerka, President and CEO of New Jersey Business & Industry Association and co-chair of ONJ. “To recreate a stable environment where citizens and communities can thrive, and which remains competitive to attract and retain business interests to the region, we must act now.”

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