- Governor Murphy Talks Tax Incentives
- Governor Moves to Expand Medical Marijuana
- Primary Election Day Recap
Governor Murphy Talks Tax Incentives
Governor Murphy ventured into South Jersey to deliver a speech on Wednesday outlining his administration’s proposed tax incentive programs. The Governor also released draft legislation, which has also been sent to the Legislature. The five new programs would be more narrowly tailored than the current incentive programs and be capped at an overall spending of $400 million. In his announcement, the Governor added that the new programs would include bonuses for applicants that sign project labor agreements and hire union labor. Eligible businesses that enter into project labor agreements would receive an additional $800 per job annually. A business cannot be eligible if it pays full-time workers less than $15 per hour or 120% of the minimum wage.
The speech was given as a Murphy task force and a Grand Jury are investigating previous incentive awards. The Governor’s task force is scheduled to release a report with initial findings next Tuesday morning.
The current incentive programs expire July 1st and the Governor has indicated that he will not extend the programs without reforms that better target the incentives and protect taxpayers.
Governor Moves to Expand Medical Marijuana
The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) announced it is will seek new applicants to open and operate up to 108 additional medical marijuana facilities, also known as Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). Last year, the administration approved six new facilities. The announcement comes at a time when the Legislature is quickly moving to pass the Jake Honig Compassionate Medical Marijuana Act, which would significantly expand and revamp the state’s medical marijuana program. Under the DOH expansion, the new operators would be spread across the state with 38 in northern New Jersey, 38 in the central region, and 32 in the south. Of the 108 opportunities, the Murphy Administration is seeking applications for up to 24 cultivators, 30 manufacturers, and 54 dispensaries. The application window will open July 1st and close August 15th.
Primary Election Day Recap
Tuesday was Primary Election Day in New Jersey with campaigns for General Assembly at the top of the ballot. All incumbent Assembly members of both parties that ran for re-election won their party’s nomination for the November elections with one exception.
Assemblyman Joe Howarth, the incumbent GOP legislator in the Eighth Legislative District, lost his election contest to fellow Assemblyman Ryan Peters and challenger Jean Stanfield, the recently retired Sheriff of Burlington County. Assemblyman Howarth was denied the support of the Burlington County Republican Party after the GOP county chairman accused him of trying to follow the actions of district-mate and Senator Dawn Addeigo, who changed her affiliation to the Democratic Party earlier this year. The Assemblyman denied that he tried to switch parties and ran his campaign as a fervent President Trump supporter, but lost by a 2-1 margin. The Eighth Legislative District campaign is expected to be one of the hotly contested races in November.
Former congressional candidate Lisa Mandelblatt and New Providence Democratic Chairwoman Stacy Gunderman won the nomination to challenge Assembly GOP Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and incumbent Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz in the fall. The campaign for the two 21st Legislative District seats is also expected to be one of the targeted races for November.