It's a tale of two reputations in this week's State Street column.
Proponents of a bill mandating labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms say the measure keeps with New Jersey's reputation as a progressive state. But opponents say the bill would harm the Garden State's image as a scientific center. They say the labeling bill isn't science based, because there's no proof foods containing GMOs are inferior to non-GMO foods.
State Street's also got a look at a bill aimed at tightening the reins on home health care providers. Unscrupulous operators have raised concerns in recent years, but a proposal to combat the problem by requiring accreditation and audits is raising red flags within the industry. We talk to one home health care franchisee who says the state should up its in-house enforcement, rather than outsourcing the job to accreditation agencies.
At last week's State of the City address, Newark Mayor Cory Booker held up Prudential's plan for a new $450 million office tower as an example of the city's economic development, but Grapevine notes the would-be Senator neglected one important detail: The Prudential deal is the subject of a major lawsuit.
Prudential's current landlords are suing the insurance firm over the move, though a judge has so far declined to stop the move.
Also in Grapevine, Gov. Chris Christie's 2014 budget renews the $66 million research and development tax credit. The money's a favorite in the life sciences and technology industries, but a source tells Grapevine the program's size limits mean its benefits will be skewed toward larger companies, not early stage firms.