A new lobbying group, Opportunity New Jersey, is being organized to fight the proposed $15 minimum wage, constitutionally mandated quarterly payments to the state pension system, and paid sick leave.

The group, which classifies itself as a 501(c)4 social welfare organization, plans to raise donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations.

“We have invited state leaders to meet with the business community and to consider us as an asset in creating economic growth programs,” said Tom Bracken, CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Opportunity New Jersey will give us a wider platform to make sure that concerns about job growth are part of the discussion about addressing New Jersey’s economic challenges.”

“This is about New Jersey’s economic future and its impact on all New Jerseyans,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. “This coalition affords grassroots groups and individuals the ability at the local level to have a voice in the process.”

Coalition members say the labor law proposals it is fighting against would have a negative impact on New Jersey’s competitiveness and a chilling effect on both job creation and private-sector investment in the state economy.

The coalition’s longer-term agenda includes reforming the state’s tax structure; funding long term investments in infrastructure beginning with transportation and then more holistically to the state’s other infrastructure assets; reducing government regulations and mandates; and maintaining the state’s highly trained workforce.

The group is led by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the New Jersey Society of CPAs, the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce, and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.

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