Assembly Budget panel OKs package of jobs bills

TRENTON – The Assembly Budget Committee released a package of jobs-related bills Thursday.

A3744/S2366: This bill, passed 7-0-3 along party lines, establishes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Provider Demonstration Project in the Department of Human Services (DHS).

DHS would form partnerships with non-profits and other agencies to expand job-placement efforts.  Sen. Ray Lesniak, sponsor of the Senate version, had previously said in a committee hearing that New Jersey is losing out on millions of dollars in federal job training money. 

Fifty percent of an agency’s project expenditures could be reimbursed.

According to the bill, introduced last December, the number of SNAP recipients in New Jersey has doubled since 2007, to over 825,000 children and adults, as a result of the recession.

The demonstration project services would help SNAP recipients acquire the training necessary to obtain regular employment and would qualify for federal  reimbursements, whereby 50 percent of qualifying agencies’ demonstration project expenditures could be reimbursed.

A3793, to increase the Earned Income Tax credit to 25 percent, was released 7-3 along party lines.

A3794, to establish a New Jersey Workforce Development and Education Commission, was released 8-1-1.  The commission will develop a report identifying policies that will improve the ability of the state’s schools and public institutions of higher education to meet the demands of tomorrow’s employers. The commission will submit its report to the Governor, the Senate Higher Education Committee, and the Assembly Higher Education Committee.  Jay Webber voted no, and Declan O’Scanlon abstained.

A3795, which establishes small-business loan guarantee program allowing such businesses to receive loan guarantees to support their capital purchases and operating expenses, was released along party lines.

Assembly Budget panel OKs package of jobs bills