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Attorney General Grewal Finds Economic Development Authority Incentive Program Report , ” Deeply Troubling”

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Statement of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal Regarding the State Comptroller’s Audit of EDA Incentive Programs :

“Last week, the Office of the State Comptroller issued an audit report identifying serious deficiencies in the management and administration of certain tax incentive programs run by the Economic Development Authority (EDA). For more than a decade, the Comptroller’s Office has earned a reputation for the rigor and independence of its work, and I want to commend Comptroller Phil Degnan for conducting such a thorough audit.

I found the report’s conclusions deeply troubling – both as a public official and as a taxpayer. New Jersey residents have a right to expect that their government will carefully tailor economic development programs to maximize the general welfare and minimize the use of public funds. The Comptroller’s audit raises serious concerns about whether EDA’s incentive programs fell short of those expectations over the past decade. It also highlighted the lack of robust internal controls at EDA, raising the troubling possibility that EDA may have failed to identify material misrepresentations made by one or more entities at the time the agency approved their tax credits.

I spent a significant portion of my career rooting out financial misconduct as a federal prosecutor in Newark and Brooklyn, and I get very concerned whenever I see a state agency distributing so much money, with so little oversight, over such a long period of time. There are many things we still do not know about the historical details of EDA’s incentive programs, but it’s time to start asking some tough questions. As Attorney General, I intend to figure out what exactly happened and whether any laws were broken. If it turns out that taxpayer dollars were distributed in violation of civil or criminal law, I will use the full powers of my office to seek recovery of those funds and ensure that the proper parties are held accountable. The residents of New Jersey deserve nothing less.”

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New Jersey ,”Innovation State”, Not Really

Edison

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Indicators of Innovation, a report issued today by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, shows New Jersey at a challenging crossroads in its efforts to reclaim itself as the “Innovation State.”
New Jersey ranked fifth out of the seven states with a cumulative innovation score of 41. New York ranked first in the region with a score of 71, followed by Massachusetts (63), Pennsylvania (49), Maryland (46), New Jersey (41), Delaware (34) and Connecticut (33).In addition to the 12 indicators analyzed in the report, NJBIA also observes additional factors in a New Jersey-Massachusetts comparison that can help jumpstart and sustain an innovation ecosystem.

Among the findings in the Indicators of Innovation report, authored by NJBIA Policy Analyst Nicole Sandelier:

New Jersey’s venture capital investment in 2017 was $781 million, compared to the $8.97 billion received by Massachusetts and $12.27 billion received by New York.

New Jersey increased its venture capital investment at a lower rate than all seven states in the region between 2004 and 2017.

New Jersey companies received less than $52 million in award obligation for federal R&D funding efforts in 2017, compared to nearly $271 million awarded to Massachusetts. The state also received less award funding than Maryland ($124 million), New York ($114 million) and Pennsylvania ($98 million).

In 2018, New Jersey received $157 million in National Science Foundation College/University funding – significantly less than regional competitors New York ($466 million), Massachusetts ($415 million) and Pennsylvania ($253 million).

New Jersey is home to three “Top 100” colleges/universities ranked in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report, compared to 10 each in Massachusetts and New York; and six in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey lost a net total of more than 28,000 first-time college students in the fall of 2016, the largest loss in the nation. By regional comparison, Pennsylvania had a net gain of nearly 17,000 students that year.

In 2017, New Jersey was fifth out of seven states with 15.6 percent of its population possessing a graduate or professional degree. In comparison, Massachusetts’ graduate and professional degree holders represented 19.5 percent of its population.

New Jersey does fare well in the Rate of Entrepreneurs regionally, with 340 adults starting a business for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017. That’s second in the region behind New York, which totaled 360 business starters per 100,000 adults.

New Jersey’s startup density was 76.1 per 1,000 employer firms in 2017, good for third in the region behind New York (83.3 per 1,000 firms) and Delaware (77 per 1,000 firms).

In 2017, New Jersey ranked fourth in the region with more than 8,600 patents issued. Massachusetts (more than 15,000 patents issued) and New York (nearly 14,700 patents issued) held a decided advantage.

From 2015 to 2016, New Jersey experienced a 0.44 percent increase in total businesses – which is sixth in the region. Delaware enjoyed a 2.03 percent increase in total businesses during that span.

New Jersey finished last out of seven regional states in NJBIA’s 2018 Regional Business Climate analysis, which scores metrics such as each state’s minimum wage, top income tax rate, top corporate tax rate, sales tax rate, property tax paid percentage and unemployment tax rate.

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New Jersey is the 8th Least Affected by the Government Shutdown – WalletHub Study

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Ridgewood NJ, With the U.S. government closed for business for the 21st time since 1976, this time with a partial shutdown, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States Most & Least Affected by the 2019 Government Shutdown to add some hard data to all the rhetoric.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of five key metrics, ranging from each state’s share of federal jobs to federal contract dollars per capita to the share of families receiving food stamps.

Impact of the Government Shutdown on New Jersey (1=Most Affected, 25=Avg.):

45th – Share of Federal Jobs
31st – Federal Contract Dollars Per Capita
39th – Access to National Parks
43rd – % of Families Receiving SNAP (Food Stamps)

To view the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/government-shutdown-report/1111/

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State Police Investigate Fatal Crash that Killed Four on the Garden State Parkway

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Dover Township NJ, The New Jersey State Police are investigating a two-car crash that killed Kevin Quispe-Prieto, 21, of Beachwood, N.J., Jimmy Quispe-Prieto, 23, Victor Lugo, 24, and Robert Ordenana, 23, all of Lakewood, N.J., earlier this morning in Dover Township, Ocean County.

At 2:50 a.m., troopers responded to the report of a crash involving a sedan and a tanker truck southbound on the Garden State Parkway at milepost 81.5. Based on the preliminary investigation, Kevin Quispe-Prieto was driving an Infiniti G37 sedan in the right lane when he struck the rear of the truck. As a result of the collision, all four occupants sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the truck sustained minor non-life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.

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Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik Calls NJ Gun Mag Law That Disarms Police ,”Insane”

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, According to NJ.com, Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed the bill into law in June, which also states that an officer may not be convicted of a criminal offense if he or she voluntarily surrenders a weapon in question.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik said Sunday on Fox & Friends that the law is not only “outrageous,” it also puts officers at risk.”You’re taking the ability away from the cops to possess the rounds they may need in a gun battle. … That’s insane,” he said.

The law applies to New Jersey residents as well as off-duty officers, and Kerik said Murphy has essentially taken guns “away from the people” of the state.”It’s one thing if you violate a rule of a department,” Kerik added. “But this is a law. A criminal law, and it makes you, then, a criminal. So, this is just crazy.”