From his perch on the Senate Economic Growth Committee, state Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) sparred this morning with former state Senator Gordon MacInnes of Morris County over S-2879 and S-2880, which modify economic incentive programs and provide $75 million in tax credits under Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program for certain infrastructure at State’s public research universities.
“You’re just such an affable person even though you’re so wrong on all this,” Kyrillos told MacInnes, sitting president of the New Jersey Policy Perspective, who appeared before the committee. “You’re beating down this program which encourages people to take a chance on Camden, Newark, on Jersey City. Let’s just be clear with people. Let’s be intellectually honest. We’re not giving away the piggy bank. This happens to be a successful program. I wish we had other successful attributes, not that we don’t have some.
“I’m glad you’re fighting for transparency,” the Monmouth County Republican senator added, “but let’s remember what we’re all here for- [creating jobs].”
“You’re not all wrong, Gordon,” the bills’ sponsor state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) said.
MacInnis fought back against the bipartisan pair.
“In terms of the net benefits test, it is essential I believe if it is going to be prudent that benefits be determined no greater than the obligation of the corporation receiving the benefit,” MacInnes said. “After 15 years, [under the current provisions], there’s no protection for the state making the investment. It’s common sense. Not to say we’re going to disarm, but let’s do it with some prudence and conservative management principles.
Lesniak said lawmakers can “change the definition of net benefits.”