New Jersey Legislative Update June 2023

The following report is from NJBMDA Lobbyist, Scot Mackey of MBI GluckShaw.

Did You Know?

The lumber and building materials industry employs more than 103,000 people in N.J.

Lobby Day

The NJBMDA Legislative Committee is currently planning our 2023 lobby day which will take place in Trenton on June 8th.

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Passed by the Legislature and Sent to the Governor

The State Senate and the General Assembly have both passed the State’s $54.3 billion Fiscal Year 2024 Budget a few hours ahead of the Constitutional deadline of midnight on July 1, 2023. Assembly members Jimenez and DeFuccio and Senators Cunningham, Gill, and Smith were absent from the floor votes.

By 1:15 PM, the Assembly had passed the State Budget, A5669 (which Appropriates $54,324,277,000 in State funds and $26,144,171,463 in federal funding) by a vote of 51 to 27.  Republicans expressed concerns primarily over the lack of transparency in the budget process, and dismay in the increased spending during a time of revenue shortfalls. Assembly Budget Chairwoman Pintor Marin (LD 29) defended the budget by stating “Taken as a whole, this reflects our commitment to a fairer and more prosperous state.”

Six Assembly Republicans voted to pass the budget, Assembly Members Guardian and Swift (LD 2), Umba and Torrissi (LD 8), Sawyer (LD 3), and Kean (LD 30).

The Senate Voting Session began close to its scheduled time around 2:00 PM. At around 4 pm the Senate also voted to pass the State Budget. Senate Budget and Appropriations Chairman Sarlo (LD 36) stated on the Senate floor, “I’m happy to report this evening that the technical errors that have been reported in the press have been corrected…There is no need to amend this budget… The budget before you is a final document.” Senate President Scutari later stated that this is up in the air at this time, and some cleanup may need to be done this summer. The Budget ultimately passed the Senate by a vote of 25 to 12. Three Republican Senators voted to pass the budget. They were Senators Polistina (LD 2), Stanfield (LD 8), and Singer (LD 30).

Governor Murphy issued a press release last night stating that he would hold a ceremony to sign the budget after both houses of the legislature had approved it. Once he does, New Jersey will officially have a budget in place for Fiscal Year 2024.

Gubernatorial Appointment News

MBI congratulates Jeff Kaelin from the Garden State Seafood Association whose nomination to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission was confirmed today by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Michael Noriega to be an Associate Justice of the NJ Supreme Court by a vote of 37-0. Noriega has worked the last nine years at Senator Jon Bramnick’s law firm. He will be the first public defender to join the state Supreme Court.

Senior Property Tax Rebate Program is Approved

The Assembly voting session kicked off shortly after 11:00 AM with the passage of A1 “Stay NJ Property Tax Credit Program” championed by Speaker Coughlin by a vote of 75 to 2 with Assemblymen Bergen and Rooney voting no. Assemblyman Bergen proposed a floor amendment to lower the income cap from $500k to $200k and offer a rebate to veterans with the savings but was ultimately unsuccessful. The “Stay NJ Property Tax Credit Program” later unanimously passed the Senate (37-0). “Stay NJ” now heads to the Governor’s desk.

Other Key Bills

In total, the Legislature considered 278 bills today including the budget. 

A measure that would give tax credits to an offshore wind developer who was designated in 2019 by the BPU to build Ocean Wind 1 was approved. A5651 (Greenwald LD6) gives 30% of the value of construction back to the developer in tax rebates. The project is estimated to cost roughly $7 billion. The initial call for votes on the bill was stalled with only 20 votes in the affirmative. Senate President Scutari later resumed the vote when a majority of 21 votes were secured.

S3756 (Scutari LD22)was sent to the Governor and would permit the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program to select more than one third-party administrator in order to increase competition and lower costs.

A bipartisan bill was approved that will establish a Boardwalk Preservation Fund to construct and repair projects along the shore. S3989 (Sarlo LD36) will appropriate ARPA funds in the amount of $100 million to be administered by the DCA for revitalization projects.

Budget Documents

Did You Know?

The lumber and building materials industry employs more than 103,000 people in N.J.

Did You Know?

The NJBMDA Legislative Committee is currently planning our 2023 lobby day. We will share more information once it is available.