Assembly Passes Legislation Retaliating Against “New Jersey First Act”

Bill would label states such as New Jersey as “discriminatory jurisdictions”

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D- New City) announced today that his bill retaliating against discriminatory public employment jurisdictions has passed the Assembly (A.2078). This bill would label jurisdictions that have enacted state policies that restrict public employment to in-state residents as “discriminatory.” Under the legislation, the only state that would be affected is New Jersey. They would be labeled a “discriminatory jurisdiction” due to their law, the NJ First Act, which has effectively shut out all New York residents from public jobs in New Jersey.

“Although only in effect for a few years, I have had many constituents contact me with hardships they are already facing due to the New Jersey First Act. Some are finding themselves completely shut out of available jobs or are in danger of losing their current one. At the end of the day, I need to protect my residents,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.

Assemblyman Zebrowski has written to Governor Christie and members of the Legislature three times over the past several years respectfully asking that the law be repealed citing its negative effect on New York residents. Most recently, a letter was sent informing New Jersey of the pending retaliatory legislation. All attempts to reach out to New Jersey Leaders have gone unanswered. The most recent letter acts as the last effort to ask New Jersey to repeal the law as this bill moves forward through the Legislature.

“The NJ First Act completely disregards the ideals on which this nation was built and threatens the free economic markets that we have worked so hard to maintain. Having to create our own discriminatory employment law is not an ideal concept, but rather a necessary reaction,” said Zebrowski.

According to US Census data, New Jersey sends almost 400,000 employees to jobs in New York, more than the reverse and any other state in the country. Overall, New Jersey sends over half a million people to out of state jobs representing 14% of their population.

“The fact that New Jersey sends more people to out of state jobs than any other state only further demonstrates that their law is not only seriously flawed, but also ironic. New Jersey is ignoring the regional economic realities and has failed to consider the long term consequences of economic protectionism. I will not stop my efforts to provide equity between our states’ residents until this unfair law is repealed,” concluded Zebrowski.

The bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator David Carlucci and is currently before the Civil Service and Pensions Committee.