New Jersey Legislators have proposed four bills that appropriate moneys in the current fiscal year from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) to support arts and culture, microbusinesses, restaurants, and food shelters throughout the public health crisis.
S-3521/A-5447 appropriates $15 million in federal funds to the EDA to award grants to arts and culture organizations in need of support as a result of the public health crisis. S-3521 has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. A-5447 was amended by Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee to include $7.5 million of the $15 million be allocated to the New Jersey Council of the Arts for the purpose of issuing grants to nonprofit entities.
S-3523/A-5443 appropriates $25 million in federal funds to microbusinesses that produce goods or provide services and have 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and who are in need. S-3523 has been referred to the Senate Budget Committee.
S-3524/A-5444 appropriates $35 million in federal funds to restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, or wineries with fewer than 100 employees and who are in need of support. S-3524 has been referred to the Senate Budget Committee.
The Assembly companions for the bills above, each passed the Assembly Commerce Committee on March 8 and have been second reference to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and are scheduled to be heard on March 17.
S-3527 appropriates $10 million to the Department of Agriculture to the EDA for seven food banks including the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Food Bank of South Jersey, Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, and Farmers Against Hunger. The bill was reported favorably out of the Senate Economic Growth Committee on March 11 and has been referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Its Assembly companion, A-5405, unanimously passed the full Assembly on March 1.
Contact: Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 ext. 110