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ZWICKER, MUKHERJI & SWAIN BILL CALLING FOR MEASURE OF GLOBAL WARMING OVER 20-YEAR TIME HORIZON NOW LAW

Seeking to better understand and reverse the effects of climate change, legislation (A-4606) requiring New Jersey’s state agencies to use a 20-year time horizon, versus the 100-year time horizon, to calculate the ‘global warming potential’ and environmental impact of greenhouse gases was signed into law by the Governor on Monday.

Sponsors issued the following statements:

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon): “The threat of global warming increases every day while the President has given up our leadership position in curbing greenhouse gases on the world’s stage. Through this law, New Jersey will take firm and calculated steps on how we regulate our emissions. Understanding that not all pollutants have the same impact on the Earth’s warming, measuring the global warming potential of gases over a 20-year time span will allow us to craft public policies that enable the State to better address how we’ll combat global warming.”

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson): “The science is clear: climate change is real, serious and can potentially do irreversible damage to the planet and its inhabitants, including us. With this fact established, we must take every step necessary to protect the wellbeing of the only planet we call home. By switching from a 100-year time horizon to a 20-year time horizon, we will be able to more accurately represent the short-term effects of greenhouse gases on the environment, and prevent these short-term effects from becoming long-term.”

Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic): “Time is running out for us to save our planet from the destruction of climate change. We don’t have 100-year periods to study the impact of greenhouse gases anymore; the time for that has passed. If we are to tackle this difficult issue, we must act swiftly and definitively. By utilizing a 20-year time horizon to study greenhouse gases, we will better be able to develop policies which work in the best short-and-long-term interest for our environment and our residents.”

The law takes effect immediately.


Zwicker & Downey Legislation Creating Licensure Board for Applied Behavior Analysts Heads to Governor

(TRENTON) – With an increasing demand for behavior analysts throughout the country – especially in New Jersey – Assembly Democrats have sponsored legislation to make licensure available and mandatory for these professionals. Upon passage of the bill (A-4608) in both the Assembly and Senate Monday, with a vote of 71-1-0 and 35-2 respectively, Assembly sponsors Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) released the following joint statement:

“Applied behavior analysts (ABAs) offer a valuable service to their patients by scientifically determining what modifications could be made to improve behavioral outcomes. An ABA's recommendations and interventions can help both children and adults who have been diagnosed with autism or other mental health disorders, in areas such as social skills and communication, and address other behavioral concerns.

New Jersey has a responsibility to ensure that any healthcare professionals operating within our state are both competent and qualified. By creating a State Board of Behavior Analyst Examiners to license certified ABAs, we would be doing just that.

This legislation will help families feel more secure in knowing the services their loved ones receive from an ABA are backed by both experience and licensure requirements. It will also help ABAs indicate the legitimacy of their services to the many individuals who can benefit from them.”


The candidate with the most support should win, right? Here’s how to make that happen in N.J., lawmaker says

Throughout our history, Americans have constantly sought ways to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. The latest example came last week in New York City, where voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question that will make sure no candidate for office is elected without support from a majority of voters.

Starting in 2021, when New Yorkers vote for mayor, city council, and other municipal posts they can make use of ranked-choice voting, a reform that gives voters more power by giving them more votes.

They will join nearly 20 cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis, and St. Paul and the state of Maine that use ranked-choice voting for their elections

It’s within New Jersey’s grasp to join them. In the process, we can increase turnout, discourage negative campaigning, provide greater choice and – while we’re at it – reduce the impact of money in politics.

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NJCSIT to provide assistance to small businesses seeking federal SBIR/STTR funds

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced Friday it has approved the launch of a new program to provide technical and financial support to New Jersey small businesses pursuing federal SBIR and STTR funding. The program will initially start with $500,000 to support companies applying to the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Program programs, which provide more than $3 million nationally in early-stage funding to small businesses.“While the benefits of winning SBIR/STTR grants are clear, small businesses often face challenges in drafting and submitting competitive proposals or leveraging additional financial resources to maintain operations during the application process,” Gunjan Doshi, chairman, CSIT, said. “The SBIR/STTR support program will help New Jersey applicants overcome these challenges and maximize potential awards.”

 

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Op-Ed: In Wake of Court Ruling, Time to Fix ‘Dark Money’ Bill

In the rush of budget season, Trenton passed a poorly drafted, unfair and unconstitutional disclosure bill that imposes burdensome rules on grassroots advocacy organizations like the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters while protecting politically connected business and industry interests.These new rules, which are the most invasive in the country, would have a chilling effect on advocates fighting for a stronger state while also providing a roadmap for corporate interests seeking to roll back important environmental protections. 

 

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Judge Block’s NJ’s New Dark-Money Law, Citing Concerns About Constitutionality

A federal judge on Wednesday stopped — at least temporarily — New Jersey’s new law requiring disclosure by dark-money issue-advocacy groups from taking effect later this month. His reason: legal arguments thus far indicate the likelihood of the law being declared unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti gave a significant win to Americans for Prosperity, the prominent national conservative organization that was first to challenge the law. It also buoyed a host of more liberal-leaning groups — including the American Civil Liberties Union-NJ, which filed its own lawsuit, and the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters — that have been vehement about the requirement they report big donors when the groups work to influence an election, legislation or regulation

 

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SINGLETON & ZWICKER DECRY ATTEMPT BY KOCH INDUSTRIES TO DENY ‘DARK MONEY’ REFORM

Senator Troy Singleton and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker released the following statement today decrying the attempts by Koch Industries and the group it has bankrolled, Americans for Prosperity, for their attempts to prevent implementation of the “dark money” reform law:

“Charles Koch and his late brother David used Americans for Prosperity as a tool to deny our attempts to bring transparency to the political process and accountability by the big money donors who work to influence elections, legislation and regulations. It was their lawsuit that triggered the temporary injunction delaying implementation of the law that would require disclosure of dark money interests.

“Make no mistake about the motives of Koch and AFP – they will go to any length so that big money interests can continue to operate in the dark. The Koch brothers gained an infamous reputation for using their wealth and influence as arch-conservatives to support policies that favor the most privileged at the expense of environmental action on climate change, reducing income inequality, and protecting workers’ rights. This is the antitheses to the principles of accountability that we believe in. The Koch organization is attempting to impose its will on New Jersey.

“While we are disappointed that the judge’s ruling is temporarily delaying implementation of the law, we remain hopeful that the court will allow the law to go into effect when it rules on its merits. This is too important to allow Koch Industries to stymie our attempts to bring big money interests out of the dark.”

“Allowing big money groups to continue to hide the origins of enormous amounts of money from the voting public is an affront to the Democratic process.”


New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker Talks about Ways to Fuel Economic Growth on State of Affairs with Steve Aduba

NEW JERSEY -- Andrew Zwicker, Chair of the Science, Innovation & Technology Committee in the New Jersey State Assembly, appeared on State of Affairs with Steve Adubato to discuss ways his committee can foster innovation and job growth in the state. 

Zwicker is also a physicist from Princeton University, and Head of Communications and Public Outreach for the university’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, and who is also the only physicist to ever serve in the state legislature. 

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TWO MODEST STEPS TOWARD DEVELOPING MURPHY’S CUTTING-EDGE ECONOMY IN NJ

Gov. Phil Murphy underscored his push to reposition the Garden State as a center for innovation and the development of cutting-edge technologies yesterday, announcing the enactment of two new related laws. The first, a law establishing an “innovation district” program means that, at the local level, municipalities can now receive that designation if they meet certain criteria, such as hosting higher-education institutions and providing access to mass-transportation facilities. The second establishes a new task force to conduct an in-depth study of blockchain, the sophisticated technology perhaps best known as the underpinnings of the digital currency Bitcoin.

 

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Incentive to innovate: Zwicker says new legislation will boost N.J. economy, help it keep up with rival states

In the aftermath of two major incentive programs for businesses expiring in New Jersey, there are a few ideas emerging of what the future of Garden State incentives might look like.

The state Economic Development Authority’s Grow New Jersey and Economic Redevelopment & Growth programs expired at the end of last month, which was in many ways the culmination of a drama-embroiled disagreement among politicians in the State House.

Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t sign an extension that passed the state Legislature that would have averted the discontinuation of the tax credit-driven programs. But, even as he let those long-existing business benefits expire, he signed another bill that offers a different path to tax credits.

The bill bolstered a tax credit for angel investors putting money into an emerging Garden State technology firm. The tax credit was raised from 10% to 20% of qualified investments, with additional benefits for investments in Opportunity Zones, low-income communities or in businesses certified as minority- or women-owned. 

 

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