The Legislature's Lame-Duck session is officially over with several NJBIA-supported bills signed into law.
According to Seville, these bills help address of the workforce and funding issues surrounding New Jersey's high tech industries. They are a good start, and NJBIA plans to work with the new legislature to further support our innovation ecosystem.
November 9, 2015 (S-712/A-2073)
New Jersey businesses will be able to take advantage of intrastate crowdfunding opportunities under this new law. Given certain restrictions, businesses seeking crowdfunding investments will no longer have to register with the NJ Bureau of Securities, allowing small, privately owned businesses to receive capital needed to boost their startup. The bill was signed by Governor Christie. NJBIA supported the measure.
Boosting Engineering Education
December 11, 2015 (S-2513/A-1468)
Engineering education for K-12 students will get a boost with a new task force to recommend how to incorporate the subject into the existing science standards and offer suggestions for curriculum. The Legislature concurred with the Governor's recommendations. The Task Force on Engineering Curriculum and Instruction will review the state's Core Curriculum Content to develop innovative ways to teach engineering to public school students. NJBIA supported the bill.
Encouraging Computer Science Education
January 19, 2016 (S-2161/A-2597)
Students will be able to use Advanced Placement computer science courses to satisfy a part of the mathematics credits required for high school graduation. Governor Christie signed a bill that will increase emphasis and value of computer science classes, which would help bolster STEM education in general. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) are critical for maintaining a skilled workforce and attracting high-tech, innovative companies. Meeting the demands of our high tech industries and the increasing digital economy requires the state to place a greater focus on computer literacy. NJBIA supported the bill.
Launching a Technology Research Fellowship
January 19, 2016 (S-2442/A-3891)
A portion of existing workforce development funding will go to create the New Jersey Innovation and Research Fellowship Program, which will bolster the state's innovation ecosystem by increasing technological research. A research fellowship program will help companies devote more time and energy to support industry research and development. Governor Christie signed the bill because it will help New Jersey's innovation ecosystem. NJBIA supported the bill.
For those unfamiliar with the “Lame Duck session,” it is the time between the November election and the swearing in our new elected officials in January, (this year it was between November 3rd and January 12th). During this time, the elected officials are trying to pass as many of their bills as they can before the year is over and everything starts anew in the New Year.