SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 57

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 21, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator  ROBERT M. GORDON

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Creates the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


A Joint Resolution establishing the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force.”

 

Whereas, The biotechnology industry plays a pivotal role in the New Jersey economy, representing thousands of jobs and hundreds of companies in the State and billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue each year; and

Whereas, Part of the reason that the industry has played such a key role in the State is due to the activities of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Biotechnology and the Biotechnology Development Task Force created in the early 1990s by the New Jersey Legislature; and

Whereas, These legislative task forces fostered increased communication between the New Jersey Legislature and the biotechnology industry, culminating in initiatives to bolster the industry in the State; and

Whereas, For example, in 1995 the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, the “New Jersey High Technology and Biotechnology Industry Promotion Act,” P.L.1995, c.277 (C.52:9X-9.1 et seq.), which established a program to promote biotechnology and other high technology industries in New Jersey and to attract biotechnology and other high technology companies to the State; and

Whereas, Since the early 1990s, when New Jersey had approximately 50 biotechnology companies located in the State, that number has increased to 379 companies, including many of the largest biotechnology companies in the world locating their operations and headquarters in the State; and

Whereas, New Jersey has been on the forefront in attracting biotechnology businesses to the State and it is in the State’s interest to continue to remain on the forefront of this growing industry in the future; and

Whereas, Due to the pivotal role this industry plays in the State in terms of economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues, it is important that the State government study ways in which to retain and attract new companies in the biotechnology industry into the State and increase communication between State government and the industry; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  There is established the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force.”

     b.    The purpose of the task force shall be to communicate with the biotechnology industry and develop recommendations for actions the Legislature and State can take to retain and attract new biotechnology companies to the State.

     2.    a.  The task force shall be comprised of nine members, as follows:

     (1)   Two members appointed by the Senate President who shall be members of the Senate;

     (2)   One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate who shall be a member of the Senate;

     (3)   Two members appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly who shall be members of the General Assembly;

     (4)   One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly who shall be a member of the General Assembly;

     (5)   The Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who shall serve ex officio; and

     (6)   Two public members, appointed by the Governor, from among a list of nominees provided by BioNJ, Inc.

     Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.

     b.    The task force shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its members and appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.

     c.     The members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and within the limits of funds available to the task force.

     d.    The task force may meet and hold hearings at the places it designates during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature.

 

      3.   The task force shall issue a final report of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action, to the Governor and the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1) no later than December 31 of the second year next following the effective date of this joint resolution.

 

      4.   This joint resolution shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the issuance of the final report of the task force as provided in section 3 of this joint resolution.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution establishes the “New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force” for the purpose of enhancing communication between State government and the biotechnology industry and developing recommendations to the Legislature to retain and attract new biotechnology companies to the State.  Due to the pivotal role this industry plays in the State in terms of economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues, it is important that State policymakers study ways in which to retain and attract new companies in the biotechnology industry.

     The nine-member task force would be comprised of three members of the Senate, three members of the General Assembly, the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, ex officio, and two public members to be appointed by the Governor from a list of nominees provided by BioNJ, Inc.  BioNJ, Inc. was founded in 1994, as the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, to enhance the climate for biotechnology and represent the industry in New Jersey.

     This joint resolution would require the task force to issue a final report of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action to the Governor and Legislature no later than December 31 of the second year next following the effective date of the joint resolution.  This joint resolution will expire upon the issuance of the final report of the task force to the Governor and Legislature.