Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following statement regarding the Beacon Hill Institute?s state competitiveness rankings. New Jersey was ranked 42 overall and was the lowest ranked state in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions. Additionally, it was reported today that New Jersey lost 6,000 jobs in October driving the state?s unemployment rate up to 6 percent.

?Every new report ranks New Jersey behind our neighbors in competitiveness. This year the Beacon Hill report ranked New Jersey 42nd overall, and 49th in government and fiscal policy, ahead of only Alaska.

?Obviously, there is a direct correlation between the fiscal policies promoted by the Trenton Democrats and state competitiveness. The Beacon Hill Institute?s definition of competitiveness is as follows: A state is competitive if it has in place the policies and conditions that ensure and sustain a high level of per capita income and continued growth.

?By this measure, New Jersey is clearly failing. Governor Corzine and his allies in the Legislature must adopt common-sense fiscal and tax policies that will help the state recover from the current economic downturn and restore long-term prosperity to middle class families across New Jersey.?

In 2007, New York?s rate of private sector employment growth was 12 times that of New Jersey, while Connecticut?s was eight times higher, Massachusetts? was seven times higher, and Pennsylvania?s was six times higher. Senator Kean is the sponsor of S-281, the New Jersey Economic Development Promotion Act, and is a sponsor with Senator Joe Kyrillos of legislation, S-1466, that would expand economic opportunities around mass transit centers. Senator Steve Oroho?s bill that would eliminate the throwout rule has cleared committee and is awaiting action before the full Senate.


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