NJBIA has always followed the news from Washington, DC to analyze how federal proposals are going to affect New Jersey businesses, but never has this task been more important than now.
President Donald Trump has taken the federal government in a new direction, and whether you agree with his policies or not, indifference is not an option if you’re running a New Jersey business.
The president has promised changes on healthcare, taxes and trade, and he has already begun implementing his deregulation agenda by reeling in overregulation related to banking, workplace safety, employee overtime reporting, and the environment, including the Clean Power Plan.
Business owners have enough on their plate running their companies without having to keep track of every new federal rule, law or policy that may impact their operation. That’s why NJBIA is making it easier for our 20,000 member companies to stay informed by creating our Federal Affairs Network to provide timely updates about federal developments affecting New Jersey businesses. Here are some federal issues that NJBIA is keeping a close eye on for our members.
Healthcare – On March 24, prior to the planned vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans pulled their bill aimed at reducing premiums. As we go to press, the ACA remains in place, but questions remain about the future of marketplace subsidies for those at lower income levels and enforcement of the mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance. Overall marketplace stability is a question, as insurers increase premiums on the exchanges or withdraw from participation due to claims losses. Also intact for now is Medicaid coverage for approximately 480,000 New Jerseyans, which was made possible by Medicaid expansion under the ACA and has significantly reduced charity care expenditures at New Jersey hospitals.
Taxes – President Trump has promised to cut the federal corporate income tax, which is the third-highest in the world, and personal income taxes. He wants to reduce the cost of capital investments by allowing businesses to deduct the value of new business investment the year it is made rather than a prolonged depreciation scheduled over many years. The president’s agenda also includes reducing the US trade deficit in an effort to bring back manufacturing and jobs. Whatever tax reform and trade policies ultimately are undertaken, New Jersey businesses will be affected.
Federal Budget – The President’s Budget Blueprint, a spending outline that was released in advance of the more detailed FY18 proposal expected to be rolled out this month, portends a major shift in federal budget priorities that could have economic consequences in New Jersey, too. The administration’s proposed $54-billion increase in defense spending is countered by deep cuts in foreign aid and domestic spending. In New Jersey, several high-profile transit projects that depend on federal dollars could be on the chopping block, including the Gateway Project to build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. Job-training programs that rely on federal funding could also be in jeopardy. It’s far too early to know what the final budget proposal will be, but NJBIA is keeping a close eye on these developments and is ready to work with New Jersey’s congressional delegation to protect the business community’s interests.
I urge all NJBIA members to join our Federal Affairs Network to stay informed so, together, we are able to mobilize quickly. To find out more, go to our website www.njbia.org and click on the Policy Committee signup link found under the Advocacy tab. We look forward to hearing from you!