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Position Papers

CCSNJ Support of S-1530

State Budget

TO:                      Members of the New Jersey Senate Budget Committee 

FROM:                Hilary Chebra, Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

RE:                       S- 1530 (Oroho)

DATE:                  November 8, 2021

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey is the region’s largest and most influential business organization representing businesses in the seven most southern counties of New Jersey, as well as Greater Philadelphia and northern Delaware. The CCSNJ has more than 1,100 member companies, approximately 85 percent of which are small businesses that employ less than 50 people. Thank you for the opportunity to provide our support for S-1530 (Oroho) which establishes a joint legislative and executive branch New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board to provide consensus revenue forecasting advice for State budget purposes.

Budget forecasting in the state has never been an easy task, however the pandemic has shown just how important it is to ensure that forecast as accurate as possible. Though no one could have easily predicted the fiscal impact of the pandemic on the state’s finances, Treasury and Office of Legislative Services (OLS) predictions differed greatly on what that impact may be, the largest discrepancy the two agencies have had in their forecasting, which lead to $4 billion in unnecessary borrowing. The existence of this board would encourage more collaboration in formulating the revenue forecasting advice that is given to legislators who are crafting the state’s budget. Finding consensus on forecasting numbers will allow policy makers to use consistent information to make more informed decisions on the state budget.

As written, this bill will establish a joint legislative and executive branch New Jersey Revenue Advisory Board, which will consist of the State Treasurer, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, and a third public member jointly selected by the two State officials. The bill requires that the advisory board hold at least one public hearing during the second quarter of each State fiscal year to receive public testimony. The board must adopt its advisory consensus forecast at a public meeting held on or before January 15 of each State fiscal year and readopt or revise the advisory consensus forecast at a public meeting held on or before May 15 of each fiscal year.

The public hearings outlined in the bill will allow for greater public input and transparency, giving the public more opportunities to be part of the budget process and ensure that the legislature and executive branch manage New Jersey’s finances responsibly. Currently several states successfully employ a “consensus” forecasting process.

Increasing the accuracy of revenue forecasting is essential to ensuring a healthy fiscal climate for the state. For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to vote “yes” on S- 1530 (Oroho).

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For any Government-related comments, questions or suggestions please contact:

Hilary Chebra 

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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