This is an article that was in the May-June 2010 NJ Tooling and Manufacturing Association Newsletter. You can download the full version at www.njtma.com
New Jersey Waking Up?
by Tom Smith
NJ Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno spoke at a breakfast I attended on 6/15, sponsored by the Association For Corporate Growth. This was ACGNJ, www.acg.org/nj.
The topic was “Making New Jersey More Business Friendly”. She spoke for about 30 minutes and took questions. As you might expect, it was generally upbeat and positive. It was mostly superficial, but the overall tone was good, and I think they are really thinking how they can help, especially without using taxpayer support (which I generally agree with). After all the deficit is huge!
Of course, she spoke about the state’s 11 billion dollar budget deficit which they are fighting to close. She stated that they feel the Number 1 thing they can do without spending tax dollars is to eliminate red tape. Nice article from 6/8 about this at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/nyregion/09njbudget.html. Christie feels they will have something close to what they need by the end of this month, and Ms. Guadagno supported that position. As of this printing they have agreement on the cuts.
She mentioned Executive Order # 2 a number of times. Christie signed it on 1/20/10.
Go to http://nj.gov/infobank/circular/eocc2.pdf for the actual text version, or go to http://nj.gov/infobank/circular/eoindex.htm for a listing of all executive orders. EO#2 sets “Common sense principles of red tape”, and all cabinet members needed to buy into this before they were appointed. She went over a few of the tenets but it is not a long read so you can check the link.
She mentioned they need to stem the flight of population exiting NJ, being about 250,000 since 2002. This means decent jobs must be created to slow or reverse the trend. So they have initiatedthe NJ Partnership for Action, funded privately by a number of large NJ companies such as Verizon and PSE&G among others (no taxpayer money), see http://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/552010/approved/20100412b.html for some points on the subject.
She noted that PA has 23 offices overseas. NJ has had none. NJ is establishing 2; one in Shanghai and one in London. She noted that for every dollar spent on tourism, $3 to $6 goes back to the state’s economy. She also noted that Christie is against drilling for oil or natural gas off our coasts and this decision was prior to the gulf oil crisis.
Ms. Guadagno provided us with her cell phone number, 609-575-8111, and asked anyone who needs her help is free to call her. That was interesting! She also asked us (business owners) to give her the contact information from our 5 favorite vendors and 5 favorite customers that are outside the state and she would contact them to attempt to get them to move to NJ.
Her assistant stayed later and answered more questions. Her name is Christina Genovese, Director of Business Affairs, Office of the Governor, PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625-001, 609-575-2537, Cell: 609-575-5616, Fax: 609-777-0350, E: Christina.Genovese@gov.state.nj.us. By mid afternoon, she had sent me a “thanks for speaking with me, and is there anything I can do” email. Impressive!
It’s still too early to tell, and actions speak louder than words, but I like what Governor Christie is doing so far! Let’s see if he can keep it up!
Tom Smith (www.fsgnj.com)
Note: Tom is a director of NJTMA. This article conveys his views and not necessarily the views of NJTMA.