Importance of Natural Resources

Legislators question labor, environment commissioners on FY 2020 budget

it has been an ambitious first-year New Jersey's Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner said he's building a more responsive more consumer-friendly Department the governor's proposing to increase the Labor Department's budget by twelve million dollars to nine hundred seventy six million more money to hire inspectors to ensure employers pay employees such as last week's justice for workers enforcement initiative notably the division is transitioning from solely complaint driven enforcement to a more strategic enforcement position the Labor Commissioner says he has multiple initiatives to get New Jerseyans working that includes establishing an office of apprenticeships our job is to be kind of a match calm pairing our employers and high demand industries with workers who can learn specialized skills these employers value and rely on the Commissioner says too many employees are misclassifying workers as independent contractors more than 12,000 workers last year and under paying the state by 14 million dollars in unemployment and temporary disability contributions those numbers are based on artists of just 1 percent of employers in other words we estimate that forty six point two billion dollars was improperly paid on 1099s last year instead of w-2s that's 46 two point two billion dollars senators wondered about the department's impact on businesses when does it begin to impact the business community at a point when the business community says enough I think that we should never stop protecting our workers and improving our economy and making lives easier for businesses I don't think I asked to be a zero-sum game in an economy that are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession does that make sense to pursue policies and programs that would make it even harder for a business to operate in the state I am very attuned and sensitive to actions need to take the Senate budget and Appropriations Committee also took testimony on the proposed budget for the state Department of Environmental Protection and its policies the DEP budget will actually increase over last year in part because of 50 million dollars from the Exxon settlement the commissioner says she's committed to keeping the pedal on companies that pollute and shirk their responsibilities the phone went silent during the eight years of the Christie administration on that be no one was filing lawsuits and I guess there's no motivation than to come and offer to settle with DEP when senator asks about the Volkswagen settlement and making the air cleaner will a large part of these funds be used to get diesel trucks off the road I would hope that some of these are going to get the diesel trucks off the road senator Troy signal to wonder why the administration is not offering incentives to put more electric vehicles on the road this idea that that to get from here to there we still got to wait I think we can get from here to there faster without having to wait for a broader energy master plan we could start utilizing those things now I didn't mean to suggest that we were waiting the senator says he'll use his position to accelerate driving the state and the DEP toward a cleaner future in Trenton Michael Hill NJTV news

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