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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.

 

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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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Zwicker food drive benefits South Brunswick Food Bank

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) held a food drive across the 16th Legislative District to benefit the South Brunswick Food Bank, the Flemington Area Food Pantry and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

 

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ZWICKER DRIVE TO ASSIST FOOD INSECURE FAMILIES SEES OVERWHELMING SUCCESS WITH OVER 1,500 POUNDS OF DONATIONS

Recognizing that 41 million Americans are food insecure, with 900,000 residing right here in New Jersey, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) is working to help these families and individuals who face food insecurity. For nearly two months, his district office hosted a food drive across the 16th legislative district.

“For families who suffer from food insecurity, the summer can prove to be the most difficult, because children in those families no longer have access to school meals,” said Zwicker. “Choosing to host a drive leading into the summer not only highlights the need for charitable donations outside of the holiday season but provides much needed relief to those in need.”

The drive, held from May 1 to June 28, 2019, saw the donation of over 1,500 pounds of food and personal items to help those served by the South Brunswick Food Bank, The Flemington Area Food Pantry and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

“I am incredibly thankful for the generous support we received,” said Zwicker. “Without our individual and corporate donors, this drive could not have seen the success it did. It is truly a testament to the power of neighbors coming together to make an impact in their community.”

A special thank you is extended to McCaffrey’s Food Market of Princeton, Whole Foods Market of Princeton, Trader Joe’s of Princeton, Target of Monmouth Junction, Weis Markets of Hillsborough, ShopRite of Somerville, ShopRite of Branchburg, ShopRite of Flemington, Walmart Supercenter of Flemington, Stop & Shop of Flemington, Bishop’s Market of Whitehouse Station and the generous people who live in the 16th district for their kind support and donations.


KENNEDY, HOLLEY & ZWICKER BILL TO AID 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS SIGNED INTO LAW

Legislation to assist first responders who voluntarily participated in 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts was signed into law Monday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The new law, sponsored by Assemblymen James Kennedy, Jamel Holley and Andrew Zwicker, expands eligibility for accidental disability allowance to include members or retirees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) who voluntarily responded to the attack.

“When police and firefighters in New Jersey, received word that two planes had struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, many of them didn’t hesitate before responding to the scene, even though they were not specifically ordered to go,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “Unfortunately, some suffered permanent or total disability. Due to the fact that they responded as volunteers, they are not entitled to the same compensation as their counterparts who were considered to be ‘on the job that day. It’s time to change that.”

The law (A-4882) provides that a member or retirant of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) is eligible to receive an accidental disability retirement allowance for a permanent and total disability resulting from participation in 9/11 World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations, whether or not they are instructed by an employer to participate. If a member participated in World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations for a minimum of eight hours, a disability resulting from a qualifying condition or impairment of health would be presumed to have occurred during and as a result of a member’s regular or assigned duties and not the result of the member’s willful negligence, unless the contrary can be proved by competent evidence. The presumption is available whether or not the member was assigned to participate.

A member who did not participate in those operations for a minimum of eight hours would be eligible for the presumption provided that:

  • the member participated in the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2001;
  • the member sustained a documented physical injury at the World Trade Center site between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2001 that is a qualifying condition or impairment of health resulting in a disability that prevented the member from continuing to participate for a minimum of eight hours; and the injury that resulted in a disability that prevented the member from doing so is the qualifying condition or impairment of health for which the member is seeking a presumption.

“All of the heroic men and women who responded to Ground Zero deserve our utmost respect and admiration, regardless of whether they were on the clock,” said Holley (D-Holley). “They all saw the same terror, took the same risks, and worked towards the same goal. If their health has been affected in the time since, they all should be eligible for the same disability allowance. “

“Our country is still feeling the effects of 9/11 today. The impact on those who were there – particularly our first responders – remains even more prevalent,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex and Hunterdon). “We can go further to honor our first responders by ensuring they are recognized and compensated for their service on 9/11, voluntary or otherwise. They deserve nothing less.”

The law also provides for a reclassification of a service retirement or an ordinary disability retirement as an accidental disability retirement if the retirant, while a member of the retirement system, participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations a minimum of eight hours and incurred a disability in retirement caused by a qualifying condition or impairment of health which the medical board determines to be caused by the member’s participation in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations. The board of trustees is required to promulgate rules and regulations and to notify members and retirants in the retirement system of the enactment of the bill within 30 days of enactment.

Additionally, the measure delineates the diseases recognized as qualifying conditions or impairments of health, and defines “World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations” to mean the rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the World Trade Center site between September 11, 2001 and October 11, 2001. The law also defines “World Trade Center site” to mean any location below a line starting from the Hudson River and Canal Street, east on Canal Street to Pike Street, south on Pike Street to the East River, and extending to the lower tip of Manhattan.

The law was approved in June by the full Assembly, 76-0, and the full Senate, 37-0.


New Law Co-Authored by Zwicker Benefits Volunteer 9/11 First Responders

TRENTON, NJ – Legislation to assist first responders who voluntarily participated in 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts was signed into law Monday by Governor Phil Murphy.

 The new law, sponsored by Assemblymen James Kennedy, Jamel Holley and Andrew Zwicker, expands eligibility for accidental disability allowance to include members or retirees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) who voluntarily responded to the attack.

“When police and firefighters in New Jersey, received word that two planes had struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, many of them didn’t hesitate before responding to the scene, even though they were not specifically ordered to go,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “Unfortunately, some suffered permanent or total disability. Due to the fact that they responded as volunteers, they are not entitled to the same compensation as their counterparts who were considered to be ‘on the job that day. It’s time to change that.”

 

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