Election Season Gets Down to Business

Most political observers will tell you election season starts in September, but this summer NJBIA got an early start on the important work of meeting with incumbent legislators seeking re-election this fall, as well as first-time candidates seeking Assembly or Senate seats.

No one knows exactly what will happen in the Nov. 7 General Election, including how many seats each political party will gain or lose. We do know we need pro-business legislators elected as we continue to wrestle with the many obstacles facing New Jersey’s job-creators. This election is a unique opportunity to make this happen because all 120 seats in the Legislature are on the ballot. Retirements and a new legislative districts map guarantee many of these seats will be won by newcomers.

We do not expect candidates we’ve met with to agree with NJBIA on every issue. However, as we work through these disagreements, we want legislators who will seek balance in policymaking.

We understand candidates want to support clean energy, but let’s incentivize it, not mandate it.

We understand candidates want to protect workers, but let’s find win-win solutions to protect employees without harming their employers, such as steering policymakers to workforce development investments.

We understand candidates want to support our teachers and schools, but let’s make sure we do that with some accountability, choice, and higher standards.

We understand some candidates want to focus on the social issues of our day, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the best social program is a good job, and government has far more impact on our economy than societal values.

We understand candidates want to maintain state investments in social services and government programs, which make New Jersey a great place to live and raise a family, but let’s try to avoid having the highest taxes in the nation.

We understand candidates want to protect consumers from the dangers of new technology, but let’s find ways to do that without stifling innovation.

Most importantly, will candidates who understand the need for balance stand up to legislators in their political party who don’t? We hope they will after some educating and coaxing from NJBIA.

Finally, we want New Jersey’s current legislators to seek balance in policymaking during the lame-duck period between the Nov. 7 election and the swearing-in of the new 221st Legislature in January. Businesess had a good June in Trenton with the signing of a law reforming the way New Jersey taxes US-controlled corporations and a state budget that maintains the sunset of the corporation business tax surcharge. Let’s not give that momentum back at the end of the year.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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