Legislation designed to encourage small businesses to hire those who have been out of work for 30 or more days by providing them with a credit on their payroll taxes has been approved by the State Senate Labor Committee. Senate President Steve Sweeney is one of the bill's sponsors.

Statehouse (NJSenateRepublicans.com)

Sweeney says, "We have taken action before only to be stopped in our tracks by the Governor. The Governor's 'middle-class' agenda may not include anything about jobs, but ours clearly does. We will continue to pick up the ball where he has dropped it……If you don't like our ideas give us some of yours, but we're not going to wait for you to come up with some ideas. You've been here three years."

In his State of the State Address last week, Christie explained that recovery from super-storm Sandy would spur job growth and he pointed out, "In total, we have added 75,000 private sector jobs in New Jersey since we took office in January 2010."

Under the bill, also known as the 'New Jobs for New Jersey Tax Credit Program,' any business that employs 100 or fewer full-time people would become eligible for a tax credit against either their corporate businesses or gross income tax, whichever applies to them, for each unemployed person they newly hire. This applies to anyone who has been unemployed for more than 30 days.

"Tax breaks won't lower unemployment if the people businesses are hiring to get a tax break already have jobs," says bill co-sponsor, Senator Bob Gordon. "Unemployment won't go down unless businesses hire one of the many tremendously talented candidates who are currently unemployed. The jobless won't have optimism if they keep getting passed over time and again. This is truly about putting people back on the radar so they can get back into jobs and get a paycheck."

Sweeney explains, "It is important to note that 'unemployed' element of the bill. We want people moving off the unemployment rolls and we want to stimulate hiring among small businesses."