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Assembly panel advances bills on corporate subsidies, foreign trade

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State House
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By Andrew George | Email | Twitter

The Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee voted to advance several pieces of legislation today, including a bill that would require a corporation which has received a development subsidy grant to refund the full amount back to the state if it fails to uphold the terms of its agreement.

The bill, passed unanimously by the panel, would allow any public entity which has issued a subsidy grant to seek a complete refund from a company if a contract is breached in addition to any legal fees or other associated costs.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton), the committee's vice-chairman, said the bill needed to be run past its sponsor, Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson (D-Camden), to amend agreement term language to allow for "substantial compliance."

Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Randolph) added that he'd like to see a "sliding scale" fee structure implemented into the bill as well.

The panel also voted 5-2 to release a bill which would grant tax credits to companies which purchase certain compressed natural gas vehicles. It is being sponsored by Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester), a committee member. Bucco and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) represented the two dissenting votes.

Bucco said he wasn't necessarily against the measure, but instead concerned about introducing it outside of the budget cycle.

A resolution urging Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to open up a foreign trade office in Taiwan also was unanimously advanced by the panel. Sponsored by several Assembly Democrats, the bill is aimed at strengthening economic ties with the Asian country and sparking future investment.

According to the resolution, Taiwan was the state's 19th largest export market in 2012 with $537 million in products exported. On the national level, Taiwan is the United States' 11th largest trading partner, accounting for $63 billion in bilateral trade in 2012, the resolution says.

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