Update: New Jersey Legislature Starts Thinking Globally to Promote Homegrown Innovation & Jobs

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Legislation intended to promote domestic firms that actually would cause more harm than good for U.S. businesses did not advance before the New Jersey legislature recessed for the summer.  Momentum on the bills – Senate Bill 1811 (Sweeney-D) and Assembly Bill 3059 (Egan-D) – waned as legislators learned that the proposals could unintentionally isolate New Jersey from U.S.-based businesses that are also competing in the global marketplace, resulting in increased costs for taxpayers in the state. 

The IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS) was among the most proactive voices engaging with policymakers to raise concerns about the overly broad scope of the bills which would have had negative consequences for New Jersey taxpayers and U.S. businesses. Those concerns were serious given the legislation would require all parts and components to be sourced domestically, creating greater complexity for small businesses to navigate, and increased compliance costs for the state and its taxpayers.

In early June I wrote about how the information and communication technology (ICT) industry—a powerhouse of economic growth and job creation in our country—relies on international supply lines, sources of production, and consumers. Ignoring the global nature of today’s business environment isn’t just short-sighted, it unnecessarily limits access to the most innovative technologies.  These products do more than create jobs here at home—they provide critical services that citizens rely upon.  The prohibitive costs and additional red tape created by these bills would make ICT unavailable to state and local jurisdictions and further complicate and delay an already lengthy procurement process for the state of New Jersey, its political subdivisions, and universities.

ITAPS will monitor the bills, should they advance during the fall legislative session, and will continue its advocacy efforts so state and local jurisdictions can maximize resources, save taxpayer dollars, and deliver the most effective constituent services to their citizens.

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