Awards Reception is in Pennington on Oct. 11
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced that four state legislators - two Democrats and two Republicans - have won the Chamber's biannual Legislators of the Year Award; The State Chamber further announced James V. Fakult, President, Jersey Central Power & Light; and Richard S. Mroz, president, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, have been named Business Advocates of the Year.
The N.J. Chamber selected these lawmakers based on their voting records, bill sponsorships and committee votes. All six recipients are being honored by the Chamber for their overall history of supporting the business community and for their work advancing New Jersey as a more business friendly state, and as a great place to live and work.
The six winners will be recognized at the New Jersey Chamber's Legislative Awards Reception on Oct. 11 at the Bank of America Hopewell Conference Center in Pennington beginning at 5 p.m.
The four winners of the Legislative Awards are:
- Sen. Nellie Pou (D-35/Passaic and Bergen counties)
- Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-30/Monmouth and Ocean counties)
- Assemblyman Troy E. Singleton (D-7/Burlington County)
- Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26 / Morris & Essex and Passaic counties)
The two winners of the State Chamber's Business Advocacy Awards are:
- James V. Fakult, President, Jersey Central Power & Light Company
- Richard S. Mroz, President, N.J. Board of Public Utilities
"The honorees were selected because each has taken substantive action to improve New Jersey's economic climate and each has been at the forefront in the fight for tax and regulatory reform and fiscally responsible infrastructure investment," said Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "New Jersey faces many challenges, and the business community is fortunate to have individuals such as these taking action to help make our state more affordable and more competitive"
Profiles of Legislative Award Winners
Sen. Nellie Pou supported the replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund which will lead to critical investments in the state's transportation infrastructure, and she backed the tax reform package which featured the elimination of the estate tax. In addition, she sponsored Bill S-1761, which directs the Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development to promote basic skills training for specific segments of society. Pou has been a vital point of contact in the Senate Majority caucus for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. She is a regular participant on the N.J. Chamber's annual Walk to Washington train trip, where she is open to discussing issues with Chamber members. In 1997, Pou became the first woman and first Hispanic to represent the 35th district.
Sen. Robert Singer has sponsored and co-sponsored several pro-business bills, including S-1286, which provides tax credits to companies that either invest in certain manufacturing equipment, expand their facilities, or hire new employees for manufacturing purposes. He was a staunch supporter of the replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund which will lead to critical investments in the state's transportation infrastructure, and he backed the tax reform package that featured the elimination of the estate tax. Singer sponsored S-2212, which prohibits property taxpayers from filing property tax appeals with respect to the property of others.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton is an advocate for incentivizing capital investment and workforce training in New Jersey, and he has always provided the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce with a seat at the table to discuss legislation. The State Chamber, for example, was able to negotiate amendments into several of his bills, such as A-3333 which allows business counselors to provide training to microenterprises (business with five or fewer employees). He sponsored A-322 which expands the scope of the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act, easing the impact of rules on small businesses. He also sponsored A-4432 which boosts tax credits under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program for certain businesses that collaborate with colleges or universities. Assemblyman Singleton was a prime sponsor of A-10, which replenished the Transportation Trust Fund and will lead to critical investments in the state's transportation infrastructure, and he supported the tax reform package that features the elimination of the estate tax.
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce has sponsored and co-sponsored several pro-business bills, including A-2223 which establishes a Main Street Economic Growth Program to encourage business development in small, highly developed municipalities; and A-5014 which established the Red Tape Review Commission that is making it easier for businesses to operate in New Jersey. DeCroce supported the replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund which will lead to critical investments in the state's transportation infrastructure, and she backed the tax reform package which featured the elimination of the estate tax. DeCroce is a regular participant on the Walk to Washington train trip, where she discusses important issues with N.J. Chamber members.
Profiles of the Business Advocate Award Winners
James Fakult is president of JCP&L, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. Fakult has been a key advisor to the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce on vital infrastructure enhancement projects that provide safe and reliable electric service to business and residential customers. Fakult's leadership was instrumental in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which led to hardening the utility system so it could better withstand the next event. JCP&L is investing $359 million on infrastructure projects and other work to enhance reliability across its 13-county Northern and Central New Jersey service area. JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
Richard S. Mroz has served as president of the state Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) since 2014. He also is the chairman of the Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, where he serves on the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal. That Subcommittee deliberates on nuclear policy recommendations, nuclear waste disposal and emerging issues. Under Mroz's leadership, the BPU is furthering the state Energy Master Plan's priorities of improving energy resiliency and the emergency preparedness and response of utility companies. One such proposal involves the establishment of microgrids to improve the grid's resiliency and reliability in the event of a major emergency. Before becoming president of the BPU, he worked in private practice as a lawyer and lobbyist, serving as managing director of Archer Public Affairs in Trenton, and serving 'of counsel' to Archer & Greiner P.C., in Haddonfield.
General public can register here.