Public Policy Alert

 Special 2020 Budget Edition
Compromise ruled the day during State fiscal year 2020 deliberations as Governor Murphy signed the State budget into law. The budget includes $38.712 billion for State government operations in the next fiscal year. The final budget includes $48.5 million in reductions from the Legislature's passed budget due to line item vetoes issued by Governor Murphy.
While the budget language includes many priorities outlined by Governor Murphy during his budget address, the language (A5600/S2020) does make several notable changes from the proposed budget. Perhaps most notably, the budget does not include a proposed "millionaire's tax" on individuals with incomes in excess of $1 million. In addition, the final fiscal year 2020 budget does not include Governor Murphy's proposal to levy a fee of up to $5 million on opioid manufacturers -- a proposal expected to raise $21.5 million in State revenue in fiscal year 2020. The budget also did not support the Governor's request of $2 million in support of a newly created Office of Innovation. Finally, the budget did not include the Governor's proposed "corporate responsibility fee" aimed at large employers with workers receiving Medicaid benefits.
Meanwhile, the final budget does include funding to continue the work of the reactivated New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. The Commission has recently held its first series of meetings since going dormant nearly a decade ago, and BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart has been named as a member of the Commission. A robust Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology will help the State develop policies that support innovative sectors of New Jersey's economy. Thankfully, the Commission received $1 million in fiscal year 2019 funding, and the 2020 budget keeps funding at $1 million for the next fiscal year.
The Legislature also passed legislation to extend Grow NJ and other New Jersey incentive programs -- programs with a June 30, 2019 sunset date -- through January 31, 2020. Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29) and Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-29) sponsored S3901/A5343, the incentive program extension. Governor Murphy now has 45 days to act on this legislation. We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature to ensure a robust incentive program remains in place that encourages New Jersey companies to continue developing tomorrow's cures.
Additionally, the New Jersey Legislature was active in passing other legislative initiatives while budget discussions were ongoing. Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature recently passed legislation aimed at improving New Jersey's Angel Investor Tax Credit Program (see June 27 Public Policy Alert). The legislation, A-5604/S-2298, would increase the State's Angel Investor Tax Credit for qualified investors from 10 to 20 percent with additional incentives of up to five percent available to women and minority-owned companies or companies located in Opportunity Zones. Governor Murphy signed these tax credit changes into effect on June 30. Thank you to Governor Murphy for his support of innovation in the life sciences industry as well as legislative sponsors Assembly Representatives Freiman, Pinkin, Milam, DePhillips, Zwicker, and Land and Senators Corrado and Singleton.
The Legislature also considered -- and passed -- several bills with a positive impact on Patient access before concluding its June session.  
First, legislation authored by Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14), New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and others capping out-of-pocket prescription costs for certain patients passed through the Senate Commerce Committee. In addition, the General Assembly approved S2690, legislation sponsored by Senators Teresa Ruiz, Joseph Cryan (D-20) and others to prohibit pharmacy "gag clause" and "claw back" contracts. The bill had previously been approved by the Senate and now moves to the Governor for his consideration. BioNJ supports efforts aimed at improving Patient access to necessary treatments and reducing Patient out-of-pocket prescription costs. Thank you to the State Legislature for your commitment to ensuring Patients have access to necessary treatments when they need them the most. We urge Governor Murphy to support these common-sense measures aimed at improving Patient access to necessary treatments .

Please contact John Slotman, BioNJ's Vice President, Government Affairs, at  should you have any questions.
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