Looking to encourage investment into women and minority owned businesses, a bill to increase the Angel Investor Tax credit percentage by a taxpayer into a New Jersey emerging technology business from 10 to 20 percent of the qualified investment was signed into law Sunday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The measure (A-5604), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Roy Freiman, Nancy Pinkin, Matthew Milam, Andrew Zwicker and R. Bruce Land, also allows for the increased credit percentage when the qualified investment is made into a New Jersey emerging technology business holding company making a verified transfer of funds into a New Jersey emerging technology business for all applicants.

The law also stipulates that a taxpayer may be allowed a tax credit of 25 percent of the qualified investment if the emerging technology business is located in a qualified opportunity zone, low-income community, or is a certified minority or women-owned business.

The measure passed the full Assembly last month by a vote of 75-2, and the Senate 37-0.

“This new law is a win for investors who are truly committed to seeing innovation technology businesses grow and thrive in New Jersey,” said Freiman (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “It serves as an incentive for doing what is right.”

“There are so many businesses that have the potential to be successful and to thrive,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “They just lack sufficient financial backing. This law is designed to help them in their efforts.”

“Women and minority owned businesses can provide first-class, top-tier goods and services just as any other business,” said Milam (D-Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland).  “They just need to be given a chance, and financial backing helps to ensure that they are given a solid opportunity.”

“New Jersey is striving to have an innovation economy,” said Zwicker (D- Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “A key component of that economy is financial backing, especially for new businesses looking to be a part of that economy. This law will help make that possible.”

“Investing into women and minority-owned companies is a wise business decision that has been a long time in the making,” said R. Bruce Land (D-Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland). “It is proving to be rewarding financially and socially.”

The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program was approved by the Legislature in 2013. The program, which is jointly administered by the Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Taxation, provides refundable tax credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization.

Currently, the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program provides an angel investor with a tax credit of 10 percent of the qualified investment made in a New Jersey emerging technology business, up to a maximum allowed credit of $500,000 for each qualified investment per tax year. While this is and continues to be an attractive incentive for the angel investor, a common critique among the life sciences and technology community is that the program could go further in providing a benefit to the business receiving the angel investment, as well as the investor.

In 2016, the Legislature created the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force” for the purpose of communicating with the biotechnology industry to develop recommendations for steps that the Legislature and State could take to retain and attract new biotechnology companies to New Jersey. On June 13, 2018, the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force released a final report of policy recommendations to retain and attract biotechnology companies to New Jersey.  One of the legislative recommendations was to enhance the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program.

Effectively immediately, the law applies to qualified investments made during privilege periods and taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2020.

New Law Raises Tax Credit Amount Under “New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act”

Trenton, New Jersey –  On Sunday, Governor Murphy signed into law a new measure that seeks to encourage investment into women and minority owned businesses.

Introduced by Assembly members Roy Freiman, Nancy Pinkin, Matthew Milam, Andrew Zwicker and R. Bruce Land, the law increases the Angel Investor Tax credit percentage by a taxpayer into a New Jersey emerging technology business from 10 to 20 percent of the qualified investment.   

The law also stipulates that a taxpayer may be allowed a tax credit of 25 percent of the qualified investment if the emerging technology business is located in a qualified opportunity zone, low-income community, or is a certified minority or women-owned business.


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Timberlake, Zwicker, Vainieri Huttle Measure Protecting Student Confidentiality with Online Education Services Unanimously Passes Assembly

TRENTON, NJ – Aiming to protect the personal information of students utilizing online education services, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Britnee Timberlake, Andrew Zwicker and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to impose several restrictions on the information shared by these services passed the full Assembly Thursday, 77-0-0.

The bill (A-4978) would prohibit online education services from disclosing student records and creating student profiles under certain circumstances, while requiring security measures for that data.

“This bill was prompted by concerns about the illegitimate sharing of and access to student data,” said Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic). “These services amass an incredible amount of information about students including their identity, academic records, test scores, criminal records and even photos. With such sensitive information, there has to be guidelines and rules as to who accesses this information, why they access it, and how the information will be used.”


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Task Force To Study Loneliness, Social Isolation Among Elderly, Vets And Those With Mental Illness

TRENTON, NJ – With loneliness affecting three out of four Americans, a bill that would create a task force to study how social isolation and loneliness impact certain populations was passed by the full Assembly Thursday, 74-0-0.

Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Matthew Milam and Vincent Mazzeo are the sponsors of this legislation.

The measure (A-5314) would establish the New Jersey Task Force to Prevent Loneliness and Social Isolation to assess and report on the nature and frequency of social isolation in New Jersey, specifically among people aged 65 and older, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with mental illness. Other vulnerable populations, including military service members, would be included in the study as deemed appropriate.


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Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) on the final passage, 68-0-4, of his bill:
“I thank Governor Murphy for his willingness to work cooperatively with us. This is, above all, a good government bill. The people of New Jersey deserve to know the origin of the money used to influence our political process. Transparency is critical if we are to ensure the trust of the public. This bill goes a long way to achieving that goal.”


Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen James Kennedy, Gordon Johnson, Andrew Zwicker and Daniel Benson to encourage municipalities to plan for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at appropriate locations was approved 65-4 in the full General Assembly on Monday.

A report by the New Jersey Energy Master Plan Alternative Fuels Work Group identified the development, installation, and maintenance of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, both at home and at strategically selected public places, as one of the most significant opportunities for, and barriers to, advancing the deployment and use of EVs in New Jersey.

“Including charging systems in municipal land planning not only benefits the environment and environmentally conscious consumers, but the economy as well,” said Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union). “Planning for and developing this infrastructure can help create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our reliance on foreign fuels.”

The bill (A-1371) would help improve and expand the state’s EV charging infrastructure by encouraging each municipality, at the time of the reexamination of its master plan, pursuant to the “Municipal Land Use Law,” to identify existing sites of public EV charging infrastructure, and propose locations for future development of public EV charging infrastructure.

The bill would also amend the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” to provide that the development of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in appropriate locations be considered for inclusion in local redevelopment plans.

“The lack of charging infrastructure can discourage people who are interested in electric vehicles, but are concerned about their recharging options,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road. Ensuring there is sufficient charging stations can help alleviate these consumer fears and encourage more people to invest in environmentally-friendlier vehicles.”

“Although most EV charging occurs at home, drivers still rely on publicly available charging,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Planning ahead can help ensure that EV owners or consumers interested in electric vehicles will have the supporting infrastructure to meet their needs.”

“Limited driving distance between battery charges is a fundamental disadvantage and obstacle to broad consumer adoption of vehicles powered by electricity,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “If we want to encourage more people to buy these vehicles, it is essential that a network of convenient electric vehicle charging opportunities be developed.”

The bill now heads to the Senate President for further consideration.